These films and programs will screen during the 28th edition of the Dallas VideoFest from October 12-18, 2015. Overall, approximately 100 videos including narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, and experimental videos will be screened during the 7-day Festival.
This year’s films and events will, of course, include the latest videos, which are not likely to be seen anywhere else, and we also include very special presentations in the history of film with the centennial celebration of both THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR and 3D RARITIES program as well. VideoFest stays true to itself by running the gamut from new documentaries of media, people and societal issues to narrative features and shorts.
VideoFest is proud to be including films directed by 24 women directors in this year’s selections, including THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD and OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICAN.
Dallas VideoFest Films – DOCUMENTARIES AND NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS
Directors: Dan Rybicky & Aaron Wickenden
Category/Themes: Aging, Journalism, Professional Ethics, Outsider Art
For many, Peter Anton’s house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting, and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. But for the filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, Anton’s home is a treasure trove, a startling collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings, and notebooks, not to mention Anton himself, a character worthy of his own reality TV show. Though aging, infirm, cranky, and solitary, Anton also is funny and utterly resilient. The film’s remarkable journey follows a gifted artist through startling twists and turns. By its quietly satisfying ending, ALMOST THERE has provided enough human drama for a season of soap operas, plus insights into mental illness, aging in America, and the redemptive power of art.
Director: Ericka Lemanna
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Social issues, family, African-American community
BAG LADY is based on the true story of Ray, a homeless teenager from a broken home. Ray becomes a father and catches a five-year prison sentence for participating in a robbery that killed his best friend. Refreshed and inspired by his new wife Jessica, Ray emerges from prison a changed man but struggles to balance life as a father, husband, and son. Ray is determined to beat the odds and break the negative cycles that have plagued his family for generations.
Director: Andrew Kolker
BUCKWHEAT'S WORLD is a film about Stanley Dural Jr., aka Buckwheat Zydeco, who has been recognized as one of Louisiana's greatest living musicians, and was most recently honored with a Lifetime Tribute at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Annual Gala. The film tells the story using a variety of thematic threads on a YouTube channel, where the viewer can experience 24/7 full-length performances of Buckwheat's peerless music.
Director: Patrick Kennelly
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Eating disorders, obsessive behavior
EXCESS FLESH is a story of obsession. Jill is obsessed with her new roommate Jennifer, a promiscuous and sexy hotshot in the L.A. Fashion scene. New to the city and recently single, Jill is unable to keep up as she binges and purges to stay thin; eventually hating herself and everyone around her. Her jealousy and rage spiral out of control — Jennifer has everything, and Jill wants to be just like her. If Jill can’t BE Jennifer, she must destroy her.
*EXPLETIVE BLUES (Rolling Stones Documentary)
Director: Robert Frank
This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their 1972 North American Tour, their first return to the States since the tragedy at Altamont. Because of the free-form nature of filming, *EXPLETIVE BLUES captured band members and entourage members taking part in events the Rolling Stones preferred not to publicize. The title of the film is the same of that of the Rolling Stones song (aka “Schoolboy Blues”), which was written to complete the band's contractual obligations to Decca Records and specifically to be unreleased.
Due to poor health, filmmaker will not in attendance. VideoFest was given special allowances to show the film that previously, by law, required that this film could only be screened when its director, Robert Frank, was in attendance.
COUNTY FAIR, TEXAS
Director: Brett Whitcomb (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Community, Farming, animal husbandry,
COUNTY FAIR, TEXAS is a portrait of a year in the lives of four, small-town kids as they raise and care for farm animals to show in competition at a local county fair. Presented from the perspective of the kids themselves, the film is a unique look at a formidable time in childhood, and a coming-of-age story that transcends the traditional 'contest' documentary.
Director: Khalik Allah
Category/Themes: Social issues, community
FIELD NIGGAS tells the story of Harlem’s residents of Lexington and 125th Street.
FLORY’S FLAME (USA/SPAIN)
Director: Curt Fissel
Category/Theme: Jewish history, music
FLORY’S FLAME interweaves the life story of a 90-year old legendary Sephardic National Heritage Fellow musician raised in Bosnia and Croatia, and her September 2013 Celebration Concert at the US Library of Congress. Flory Jagoda’s perfect, trilling voice invokes the soulful musical Altarac family heritage stretching back to pre-Inquisition Spain.
HAVANA MOTOR CLUB (CUBA)
Director: Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
Category/Themes: Vintage cars, history, drag racing
Reforms have offered opportunity in Cuba, but the children of the Revolution are unsure of the best route forward. HAVANA MOTOR CLUB shows how a group of drag racers prepare for the first sanctioned race in Cuba since 1960. This means last-minute changes to their beloved American muscle cars. Punctuated by a lively Cuban soundtrack and beautifully shot, HAVANA MOTOR CLUB offers a fascinating glimpse at the resilience and ingenuity of the competitive spirit.
HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX!
Director: Jon Nealon
Category/Themes: Pop culture, history, television
HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX! opens in 1969. America is undergoing cultural and political revolutions – but you would never know it by watching TV. A forward-thinking CBS executive decides to start a secret pilot project to tell the stories of the counterculture ignored by TV news. He hires a ragtag group of young people – teachers, carpenters, nurses, artists – who have embraced a brand new medium – video. They name themselves the Videofreex and on CBS’s dime, travel the country taping footage the networks could never get, including interviews with Abbie Hoffman and Black Panther Fred Hampton just months before his murder.
I DREAM TOO MUCH
Director: Katie Cokinos
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Themes: Family, coming-of-age
I DREAM TOO MUCH is a heartwarming coming-of-age film that illustrates the challenges that women and families experience from the perspective of three different generations. Follow these women as they discover their dreams.
Director: Ken Harrison (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Artists, art
JACKELOPE provides a look into the contemporary Texas art world of the mid-‘70s. Shot in 1975, JACKELOPE is loosely divided into three segments, each focusing on three young artists: James Surls, George Green, and Bob Wade. JACKELOPE captures each artist in the more casual moments of their lives, capturing their ideas about art, the artistic process, Texas and other topics in the process. The film includes appearances by fellow Texas artists Mike McNamara, Letitia Eldridge, Mel Casas, and John Alexander, and is intercut with footage of many of these same artists in discussion with each at parties, openings, and at each other’s studios, giving us a rare glimpse into an often overlooked scene. The film was newly restored film by Blaine Dunlap.
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Family, addiction
KRISHA is the story of a woman’s return to the family she abandoned years before and set entirely over the course of one turbulent Thanksgiving. A potent combination of innovative cinematic storytelling and timeless themes of love, family and forgiveness, KRISHA took the independent film community by storm upon its 2015 SXSW premiere. This is the first feature film from Texas native, Trey Edward Shults.
LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Director: Laurie Kahn
Category/Theme: Romance, literature, publishing
LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS covers three years of the lives of five published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Dallas-Fort Worth writers in attendance.
MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE (UK)
Directors: Roger Graef & James Rogan
In 2013, the incomparable comedy group Monty Python announced that they would be performing live for the first time in 34 years, performing 10 shows at the 15,000-seat O2 Arena, London. The first show sold out in 43.5 seconds. With a history of documenting the Pythons and its members on stage with films that include PLEASURE AT HER MAJESTY’S and other installments of “The Secret Policeman's Ball” series, award-winning director Roger Graef teamed up with acclaimed director James Rogan and producer Holly Gilliam to document the Python's process of creating the show.
OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICAN
Director: Grace Lee
Category/Theme: Asian cuisine, culinary arts, community
OFF THE MENU is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving community. The film’s locations include Houston and Dallas. The documentary is from the director of the award winning, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.
Director: Danielle Beverly
Category/Theme: Segregation, African-American history
OLD SOUTH tells the story of two communities steeped in segregation as they strive to keep their respective legacies relevant in a changing American South. Courtesy of Women Make Movies.
PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA
Director: Peter Miller
Category/Theme: American history, military history
During the darkest hour of World War II, a team of idealistic filmmakers hoped the power of the movies could reshape the world. As Allied forces liberated Western Europe, the military campaign was accompanied by a vast propaganda effort that centered around 26 short documentaries about American life targeted at the newly liberated populations. The PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA films presented American stories of cowboys and oilmen, farmers and window washers, immigrants and school children—capturing both the optimism and the messiness of American democracy.
SERVING SECOND CHANCES
Director: Alan Govenar (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Social issues, homelessness
SERVING SECOND CHANCES chronicles efforts to provide survival resources and opportunities for homeless and at risk people to start a new life. Intertwined in the day-to-day operations of The Stewpot, the film focuses on three of its clients and their deeply personal struggles to stabilize their lives.
Director: David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
Category/Theme: National security, social justice, law enforcement
(T)ERROR is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the perspective of Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned FBI informant, viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government's counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them. Taut, stark and controversial, (T)ERROR illuminates the fragile relationships between individual and surveillance state in modern America, and asks who is watching the watchers?
THE ART OF DIRECTING: HITCHCOCK, SPIELBERG, TRUFFAUT
Director: Allan Holzman (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Film history
THE ART OF DIRECTING: HITCHCOCK, SPIELBERG, TRUFFAUT is a compilation of rare interviews with directing masters Alfred Hitchcock (toward the end of his career), Steven Spielberg (at the beginning of his career) and François Truffaut (at the height of his career). The interviews are culled from the Harold Lloyd Master seminar series from the early days at the American Film Institute.
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION
Director: Stanley Nelson (PRODUCER IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary feature
Category: African-American history, society, community
Free Community Screening at the South Dallas Cultural Center.
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian, Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others. Collaboration between the Embrey Family Foundation for Dallas Faces Race.
THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD
Director: Jen Senko (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Media, journalism, politics
Cable news and "conservative" talk radio attract older Americans like graying moths to an angry flame. But why would someone who was either apolitical or a Democrat in younger days become addicted to conservative talk shows in their twilight years? Filmmaker Jen Senko wondered how her WWII veteran and Kennedy Democrat father had been transformed into a Fox News fanatic, suddenly and inexplicably railing against blacks, gays, and poor people. Using her dad as an entertaining example, Senko pulls back the curtain to expose the tools and tricks of the wizards behind the right-wing media revolution. And in discovering what happened to him, Senko reveals the all-too-chilling bigger picture of what’s happening behind the scenes to influence our national discourse. This is a special "work in progress" screening exclusive to the Dallas VideoFest. Be one of the first to see an early cut of the film and provide valuable feedback to the director.
Director: Rodney Gray (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Homeowner’s association, community
THE HOAX is an independent examination of the abuse of power and lack of regulation in the homeowners' association (HOA) industry; a business whose key selling point is the protection of property values.
THE WINDS THAT SCATTER
Director: Christopher Bell
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Immigration, family
THE WINDS THAT SCATTER is the story of Ahmad, an immigrant from Syria who dreams of starting his own taxi service. After he loses his job and it becomes more difficult to find work, his situation begins to take a toll on his relationships, faith, and sense of self, with his dream slipping quickly from his grasp.
Director: Peter BO RAPPMUND (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Environment, politics
TOPOPHILIA is an experimental documentary that follows the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), one of the world’s largest oil pipelines. The film seeks to present the pipeline and its surroundings harmoniously as a continuous, giant building; a structure that simultaneously projects modern necessities and the resulting consequences; and an architectural space that not only reorders the landscape and ideas of our place within it, but also offers an unmistakable juxtaposition between the endgame of industrial revolution—and the environment where this scenario eventually plays itself out.
***ART OPENING: EXHIBIT OF POSTERS OF DALLAS-BASED GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND FILMMAKER YEN TAN***
Date and time: October 12th
Location: Texas Theatre, 231 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208
VideoFest has organized an exhibit of posters by Dallas-based graphic designer and filmmaker Yen Tan, whose design pen name is “Otto is the One.” Yen was born in Malaysia and eventually landed in Dallas. He has worked as a copywriter for ad agencies and Neiman Marcus.
Over the years, Yen has nurtured his interest in filmmaking and has written, directed and produced shorts and features that have been screened around the world. Yen began exploring graphic design to create the artwork for his films. Eventually, others asked him to design their film posters, which include David Lowery’s “St. Nick,” Bryan Poyser’s “Lovers of Hate” and Clay Liford’s “Earthling.”
***Opening Night: Screening of METROPOLIS, with premiere of a new score commissioned by VideoFest, performed by Dallas Chamber Symphony with a performance by students from the SMU Dance Department***
Date and Time: Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.
Location: Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201
Director: Fritz Lang
Genre: Narrative feature
Category: Classic film, history, technology
METROPOLIS is an epic 1927 German expressionist film directed by Fritz Lang and written by Lang and his wife, Thea von Harbou. Made in pre-WWII Germany, METROPOLIS is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city's ruler, and Maria, a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. It is regarded as a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in movies. Roger Ebert wrote that the time, place and characters created in METROPOLIS are "so striking that they became part of our arsenal of images for imagining the world." METROPOLIS is a major influence for Ridley Scott (BLADE RUNNER), George Lucas (STAR WARS), Tim Burton (BATMAN) and numerous other dystopian urban dramas.
Presenter: Archivist Robert Furmanek (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category: Film history, technology, part of the History of Film Celebration of VideoFest
In commemoration of the centennial of 3-D motion pictures, we present 3-D RARITIES. It has taken over 30 years for the 3-D Film Archive to assemble and restore the material in this eye-popping collection of ultra-rare and long-lost movies. Presented in high-quality digital 3-D, all films have been stunningly restored and mastered direct from archival materials. Meticulously aligned shot by shot for precise registration of the original left/right elements, these historic 3-D motion pictures have never before looked this good. Selections include Kelley's Plasticon Pictures, the earliest extant 3-D demonstration film from 1922 with incredible footage of Washington and New York City; New Dimensions, the first domestic full color 3-D film originally shown at the World’s Fair in 1940; Thrills for You, a promotional film for the Pennsylvania Railroad; Stardust in Your Eyes, a hilarious stand-up routine by Slick Slavin; trailer for The Maze, with fantastic production design by William Cameron Menzies; Doom Town, a controversial anti-atomic testing film mysteriously pulled from release; puppet cartoon The Adventures of Sam Space, presented in widescreen; I’ll Sell My Shirt, a burlesque comedy unseen in 3-D for over 60 years; Boo Moon, an excellent example of color stereoscopic animation…and more!
AIN’T IT COOL WITH HARRY KNOWLES
Director: Brett Hart (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Television, media
AIN’T IT COOL WITH HARRY KNOWLES, the inventive new television series is a visual romp through of some of the favorite films and genres loved, admired and sometimes even scorned by the iconoclastic film, television and pop culture critic. Set in his “magical basement” full of rare and unique movie memorabilia, Knowles is joined by “Pops,” his miniature projectionist and “Boiler,” his alter-ego and the millennial equivalent to “Oscar the Grouch.” Guests this season include legendary actor Burt Reynolds, famed directors Wes Craven and Danny Boyle, House of Cards creator Beau Willimon and more. The half hour program is available on PBS affiliates nationwide. Check local listings.
Filmmaker and subject in attendance.
THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR
Authors: David Pierce & James Layton (DAVID PIERCE IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Film history, film technology, part of the History of Film Technology Celebration of VideoFest
David Pierce, author of THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR, the first authoritative history of the two-color Technicolor period from 1915 to 1934, will present a 90-minute illustrated presentation that covers the development of Technicolor during the boom period of Hollywood’s early sound musicals. The presentation will include rare photos and behind-the-scenes stills, original correspondence, and high-definition digital clips of newly discovered archival film material.
In attendance: David Pierce
HISTORY OF MOVIE THEATER AT NORTHPARK CENTER
Presenter: Jeremy Spracklen (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Film history, history of Dallas
Movie theaters are a unique intersection where technology, commerce, and entertainment come together, earning them a place in history alongside the films they showcase. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the General Cinema I & II opening at NorthPark Center, interviews, advertisements, photos, and videos are used to tell the story of this much-loved institution.
TRIBUTE TO ALBERT MAYSLES AND SCREENING “IN TRANSIT,” HIS LAST DOCUMENTARY
Directors: Lynn True & Albert Maysles
Category/Theme: Travel, community, family, transportation
Legendary documentary filmmaker and New York staple, Albert Maysles pioneered feature documentary filmmaking and Direct Cinema, his work revealing a patient intimacy and unassuming quest for understanding. This technique is never more apparent than with IN TRANSIT, Maysles’ final project before his passing. He and his collaborators capture a journey through the hearts and minds of passengers aboard The Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route.
TRIBUTE TO PAUL BOSNER
Paul Bosner (IN ATTENDANCE)
Dallas’ Paul Bosner has done everything from originating and producing the iconic AUSTIN CITY LIMITS to producing and directing some of the nation’s best instructional programs for college students. He also served as President Truman’s personal photographer and worked for CBS as a television cameraman for both news and entertainment shows. Bosner won an Emmy, a Life magazine award for his photographic work and a Career Achievement Award in Distance Education from Instructional Telecommunications Council. Bosner holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
***Closing Night: Every year, Dallas VideoFest closes with the Texas Show, a juried showcase of shorts highlight what filmmakers in Texas are exploring.***
Director: Jordan E. Cooper
Genre: Narrative Short
Category/Theme: Family, grief
AMERICAN MOTHER tells the story of a woman confronted by the killing of her son.
Director: Alexia Salingaros
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Anxiety, personal growth
INHIBITED explores the traps and limitations we set on ourselves.
LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
Director: Trish Dalton and Scott David
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Dog, life
LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE tells the story of a dog who reflects on his happy life.
MOUNTAINS ON THE PRAIRIE
Director: Martin Lisius
Genre: Documentary short
Category/Theme: Weather, landscapes
MOUNTAIN ON THE PRAIRIE is a 6-minute short film that Martin Lisius photographed, narrated and directed. In it, he introduces a particularly colorful kind of thunderstorm called a "supercell." Martin made the film to show the beautiful and majestic side of this otherwise potentially destructive phenomenon.
Director: Jean-Patrick Mahoney
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Family, aging, marriage
PHONE GHOST follows the story of Mildred Lane, a widowed retiree and nice old lady coping with the loss of her husband, a strained relationship with her daughter, and the prospect of her own looming death. Also, there's a ghost in her phone.
Director: Sam Lerma
Genre: Narrative Short
SQUEEZEBOX tells the story of Manuel Casillas as he reemerges from a musical hiatus to embark on a new phase of his career. His plans are put to a halt by a collection of vivid dreams, a group of feral cats and a strange box containing a substance that devours whatever it touches.
THE MOCK DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD
Director: Richard Baily
Genre: Narrative Short
Category/Theme: Toys, arts
THE MOCK DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD is the story of Tommy Roach, an unusual toymaker, one who finds grace in malfunction and creativity in decay. A science fiction story plays out as Tommy's toys come to life and describe his strange cosmological vision.
Director: Jeremy Rovny
Genre: Narrative short
THE ODDS recounts the story of a duel wherein a man remembers the pain of losing his true love.
Director: Caitlin Stickels
City: Fort Worth
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Family, personal growth
UNCOMMON THREADS tells the story of Travis, a man who works deep in the pits of the Texas desert, awaiting the day he can finally move on from the murder of his wife. For Travis, life seemed to have paused the day she was killed. Only the execution of the murderer will offer Travis the revenge he thinks he deserves. When his daughter surprises him for a visit, he is forced to come to terms with their distant relationship and reconcile the man he has become.
YOUTH GOIN’ BAD
Director: Ya'ke Smith
City: Fort Worth
Genre: Music video
The music video for Sammie Zonana’s YOUTH GOIN’ BAD was directed by Fort Worth filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith. The song was written for his short film “One Hitta Quitta.”