The USA Film Festival has announced the line-up for their 41st Annual Festival Week which will be held April 27-May 1 at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station.
What makes USA Film Festival unique from other festivals in Dallas is that they are accredited by the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a win in the USAFF Short Film category makes a film eligible to possibly go on and win an Oscar.
Another great benefit to USAFF is that all tickets are just $10! For those that consider becoming Sponsors or Patrons, these levels are highly recommended because members then receive reserved seating and invites to exclusive after screening events for both the Festival Week and throughout the year. USAFF also makes it easy to take advantage of these higher-tier levels by allowing payments to be made; so if you’d like to support the great work of the team at USAFF and their year-round programming, making an affordable monthly payment is a great way to be involved.
The 2011 event looks to be stellar as I mentioned in an earlier column covering the Opening Night on Wednesday, April 27, which will feature Jennifer Grant (daughter of legendary Cary Grant) and the hilarious David Hyde Pierce from Fraiser fame; both will be in attendance for opening night.
Special Tributes during the Festival Week will be given to the following artists:
- Barry Corbin
- William Fichtner
- Malcolm McDowell
Noted highlights of the Festival Week include:
Thursday, April 28….The Last Ride at 7:00p. Based on the tragic final days of legendary country crooner Hank Williams, The Last Ride stars Henry Thomas (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Legends of the Fall) as country music star Luke Wells and Jesse James as Silas, the young man hired to drive him from Alabama to a New Year’s Eve concert in Canton, Ohio, circa 1952. But there’s a catch to young Silas’ seemingly simple job: he has to not only get Wells there on time, but sober enough to perform – a task easier said then done. Wells not only has a penchant for drinking, fighting, and general hard living, he’s as haunted as he is talented, fighting against a chronic disease and determination to self-destruct. Also featuring Kaley Cuoco, Fred Dalton Thompson, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Ray McKinnon. 103 mins. In attendance: Director Harry Thomason, producer/composer Benjy Gaither.
Friday, April 29…Nonames: Tribute to Barry Corbin at 7:00p. The feature film will be preceded by a film compilation Tribute honoring Barry Corbin. Writer/director Kathy Lindhoe‘s haunting feature debut drama is based on a true story about a young man, Kevin (James Badge Dale) and his relationships – with the town he loves, his fractured family, his girlfriend (Gillian Jacobs), his life-long friends – and trying to find his place in a dying town with two bars, a cemetery and a mill that is closing. This sharply observed film captures the free-wheeling 70’s, fueled by drugs and alcohol and the aimlessness and desperation brought about by hopelessness. Dogged by unsettled scores, it becomes clear that Kevin must leave the town he loves if he is to save himself. Barry Corbin is Ed, Kevin’s boss and long-time family friend who tries to counsel him out of a potentially volatile situation. 103 mins. In attendance: Kathy Lindhoe, Barry Corbin and other cast/crew.
Pound of Flesh: Tribute to Malcolm McDowell at 7:00p. The feature film will be preceded by a film compilation Tribute honoring Malcolm McDowell. Barden College’s most revered professor, Noah Melville (Malcolm McDowell) teaches the idyllic school’s most popular Shakespeare class. His family, his students, and (most of) his colleagues adore him, yet few of them are aware of his extracurricular enterprise: Between lectures, the professor facilitates an escort service staffed by some of the gorgeous coeds, who finance their tuition through this unorthodox “scholarship” program. When the corpse of a young woman is discovered near campus, Melville’s complicated world begins to crumble as driven police sergeant Rebecca Ferraro (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and troubled detective Patrick Kelly (Angus Macfayden) begin closing in. Writer/director Tamar Hoffs’ provocative, satirical, twist-driven thriller isn’t afraid to push to, and sail over, the edge – tongue in cheek all the way. Also featuring great performances by Timothy Bottoms, Dee Wallace and a cast of young stars including Whitney Able. 94 mins. In attendance: Malcolm McDowell and Tamar Hoffs.
Short Film Compilation: Crossroads and Cross Purposes at 9:15p. This collection of dark comedic and dramatic short films feature some of life’s messiest and most unexpected moments. Included are TJ Thyne’s Run; Tom Lenk and Tara Karsian make a connection in the indescribably outrageous Hello Caller; a neurotic LA woman (Alex Dawson) challenges the sanity of her shrink (Stephen Tobolowsky) in Clara’s Carma; animated mayhem ensues in Enrique Wrecks The World featuring a terrible chain reaction; and Fran Kause‘s Nosy Bear takes on hunters and guns; Time Freak explores why you shouldn’t do it over again even if you could; The Interview shows how to get a job in a post-apocalyptic world; love and greed collide in Sweet Sweet Baby; life’s unpredictable choices unfold in Before We Get To Seattle; and a stunning double betrayal in How It Ended, featuring Debra Winger, Larry Pine and Halley Feiffer. 82 mins. Filmmakers in attendance.
Saturday, April 30….The 48 Hour Film Project – Dallas: Screening Group A @ 5:00p, Screening Group B @ 7:00p, Screening Group C @ 9:00p. Filmmakers from around Dallas compete in this annual event to write, shoot, and edit a film in 48 hours. Film enthusiasts are along for the ride as each screening will showcase up to 14 of the 2011 teams from Dallas.
Drive Angry: Tribute to William Fichtner. The feature film will be preceded by a film clip compilation Tribute honoring William Fitcher at 7:00p. Drive Angry stars Nicholas Cage as John Milton, a dead man who escapes from Hell to seek vengeance on the self-styled Satanic messiah (Billy Burke), who brutally murdered his daughter, before he can sacrifice Milton’s infant granddaughter during the next full moon. Shoot-outs, fist-fights, car chases, explosions, nudity, one-liners, and special effects ensure; a throwback to the good ol’ days of grindhouse cinema. 104 mins. In attendance: William Fichtner. The tribute program will be introduced by producer Garry Brown.
Sunday, May 1…Short Film Awards Program at 7:30p. Join the National Jurors for announcements and screening presentations of this year’s 33rd Annual National short Film and Video Competition) winning films as well as the winners for the 48 Hour Fim Project – Dallas. Awards are given to the best in Animation, Fiction, Non-Fiction and Experimental categories as well as awards for Texas ties, student achievement, and more. USAFF prize winners who were recognized early in their careers include Alexander Payne, Todd Haynes, Jessica Yu, Wes Anderson, Bill Plympton, Michael Almereyda,John Lasseter, and many more. the USAFF is an Academy-qualified program and many films recognized at the Festival have gone on to be nominated for the Academy Award.