Dallas Film has announced the first 16 films for the 16th Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF), Oct. 14 through 20 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Cedars and various other Dallas landmarks. Special screenings and events will also be held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Texas Theatre, the South Dallas Cultural Center, and 4DWN Skate Park.
The first 16 special screenings and premieres at this year’s festival in alphabetical order include:
A CASE FOR KINDNESS (Documentary), for which director, Steven Sawalich, who had the first film in AFI Dallas 2007, will return to DIFF. This film strives to understand the true nature of kindness. Carefully threading the themes of bullying, hate, mental health, racial injustice, food insecurity, and climate change, it builds the case to inspire us to understand the need for and benefits of adopting kindness. It features Ben Affleck, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Norman Lear.
ACIDMAN (Drama/Sci-Fi) stars Dianna Agron as Maggie and Thomas Haden Church as her reclusive father. After a decade apart, the two awkwardly try to get to know one another against the backdrop of his obsession with UFOs and communicating with extraterrestrial beings.
ALL MAN: THE INTERNATIONAL MALE STORY (Documentary) is a nostalgic and colorful peek behind the pages and personalities of International Male, one of the most ubiquitous and sought-after mail-order catalogs of the 80s and 90s.
ARMAGEDDON TIME (Drama) from acclaimed filmmaker James Gray is a deeply personal tale on the strength of family, the complexity of friendship, and the generational pursuit of the American Dream. The film features an all-star cast, including Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Strong.
CALL JANE (Drama/Comedy) stars Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver in this story of a married woman with an unwanted pregnancy who lives at a time in America when she cannot get a legal abortion, and then works with a group of suburban women to find help.
FENOM (Documentary) follows rising star and school senior Flau’Jae Johnson, a Georgia native who has become one of the nation’s top basketball recruits and is also a rapper under Jay Z’s label, living out her late father’s dream. FENOM follows her journey through her senior year fulfilling both of her destinies, and was executive produced by WNBA legend Sue Bird in association with TOGETHXR.
GREENER PASTURES (Documentary) will have its world premiere with an urgent and intimate look at American farming, told through the stories of farmers living at the intersection of climate change, globalization, and a mental health crisis. Capturing the day-to-day lives of four small, multigenerational family farms over three years, it is a story of perseverance, patience, and determination that tackles the future of farming in America.
Executive produced by local legend herself, Erykah Badu, HARGROVE (Documentary) tells the up-close story of Jazz trumpet legend Roy Hargrove, deemed by his peers as a musical prophet. Following him on an award-winning tour from Los Angeles to Marseille in what would be the last year of his life, the film features interviews and live performances inclusive of musical icons Badu, Herbie Hancock, Mos Def, Robert Glasper, Wynton Marsalis, and Sonny Rollins. Hargrove attended Booker T. Washington High School, which will host the screening on his birthday, Oct. 16.
IMAGINING THE INDIAN (Documentary) highlights the fight against Native American mascoting, examining the use of Native American slurs, names, logos, images, and gestures that many Native Americans and their allies find offensive. The film investigates caricatures like Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians and gestures like the Atlanta Braves’ “tomahawk chop” with commentary from ESPN commentator Kevin Blackstone.
MVP (Drama) takes place on the streets of Hollywood where a recently retired NFL player is saved from scandal by a homeless veteran. With their “glory days” behind them, the two men bond in search of purpose and identity. Actor and director Nate Boyer will attend the special screening at the historic Texas Theatre.
In RETROGRADE (Documentary) from Academy Award-winning director Matthew Heineman, he tells the story of the last months of the 20-year war in Afghanistan through the intimate relationship between American Green Berets and the Afghan officers they trained.
ROLL WITH IT (Comedy) is the story of a small town Biscuit Barrel waitress forced to enter the Cheatham County Fair Karaoke Showdown as a last resort to save her house from foreclosure. Star of the film Chonda Pierce, the popular comedian known as “The Queen of Clean”, will attend the world premiere.
SKATE DREAMS (Documentary) follows the rise of women’s skateboarding, profiling a group of women whose pursuit of self-expression, equality, and freedom have created an international movement. Directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Edwards, the story spans the trailblazing pioneers of the 1980s and the next generation of Olympic contenders. A special screening of the film will be hosted at the 4DWN Skatepark.
SONG FOR HOPE (Documentary) will debut at a special screening in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and CancerBows at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on Oct. 19 at 7:30 pm. Directed by Chris Haigh, the film portrays the incredible story of trumpet virtuoso Ryan Anthony after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the age of 42 and given just months to live. For many, this would be a crushing blow, but for Ryan, it motivated him to start CancerBlows and show the world that music can save lives. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A moderated by Faust featuring the filmmakers and members of the Anthony family – Niki, Jackson, and Rowan.
THE SMELL OF MONEY (Documentary) asks what price we pay for the world’s pork. Directed by Dallas’ most successful film director, Shawn Bannon, and executive produced by Kate Mara and David Lowery, it offers a look at North Carolina residents who take on one of the world’s most powerful companies in a fight for their rights to clean air, pure water, and a life free from the stench of pig feces.
THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY (Drama) launches a grieving young woman on a solitary road trip through the American Midwest after an unexpected invitation. Tana, played by Lily Gladstone, struggles to reconcile the losses of her past with the dreams of her future on her journey, with a portion filmed in Dallas.
Tickets for the 2022 Dallas International Film Festival go on sale Sept. 21, and are available along with sponsorship information at dallasfilm.org.