Daily updates from the first annual AFI DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Target, founding sponsor Victory Park, March 22 to April 1, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who Are These People? Liener Temerlin

With his knack for story-telling and quick wit, AFI DALLAS Founder and Chairman Liener Temerlin is the perfect advertising man.

He founded one of the largest agencies in the country, Temerlin McClain. He is a member of the Advertiser Hall of Fame. And he is a past president and chairman of the Dallas Symphony Association.

So what's he doing founding an international film festival?

"I got interested in the movies growing up in a little town in Oklahoma. There's three things to do in Ardmore: play cards, go fishing and go to the movies," he explains. "Movies were my window to the world."

He became interested in the idea of a film festival when "a guy by the name of Michael Cain," called him about raising money for a film school. Temerlin told Cain, who's now AFI DALLAS CEO and Artistic Director, that he didn't think the time was right for a school.

"I did say that there were some very fine small film festivals in Dallas. But the city didn’t have didn't have a major fest. I knew if I could get AFI to franchise the festival by supplying their name and consulting it would work. It occurred to me this would be great for Dallas. And the filmmakers of the world know who AFI is."

Temerlin also knows who AFI is. He has served on the board of trustees for the organization for several years, and was responsible for one of AFI's most-known programs, the 100 Years...100 Movies Series.

Temerlin bounced the idea for the festival off his longtime friend and arts patron, Raymond Nasher.

"Ray underscored that film is the art form that America gave to the world. It started in the U.S. And now with the festival, we're putting movies and films on a very high pedestal, right along with the great symphonies, paintings and other artworks where it belongs."

In fact, many of the lectures by film critics and film-industry players will be held at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the museum and sculpture garden that Mr. Nasher founded to preserve modern sculpture in 2003. Mr. Nasher died this month and Temerlin gives him credit for all he's done to help Dallas' cultural profile.

Temerlin jumped into organizing the fest, almost without knowing what he was getting into.

"After all this was all underway, Michael brought me a book called The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. One of the mistakes I made was not reading it. The second mistake I made is that I did eventually read it. Hell, I would have never started the thing if I'd known what was involved," he jokes.

Although it just opened, AFI DALLAS is already a success. A lineup of some of the best films in the country gives festival goers the chance to see films they might never have had a chance to. A beehive of volunteers and staff members buzz at the Victory Plaza office, preparing for showings, parties and, of course, the audience.

And sponsors have pitched in to help make the first year a memorable one.

"We wanted to give a significant star award," says Temerlin, "and Neiman's about came in as a sponsor with a wonderful Steuben crystal."

One of the awards is for Gregory Peck, the first AFI Chairman and friend of the Temerlins.

"My wife and I met him 30 years ago at the premier of MacArthur at The Majestic. Later, I called [his wife] Veronique and asked if she'd like to be on the AFI board. We very much want to remember the anniversary of his death. And it's also the
45th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, which scholars say is the
most viewed film in the world."

The festival has more than 190 films with more than 200 screenings and it's a major event for the city and the Southwest.

"It's been wonderfully embraced by the community and the sponsors. It's almost like a brush fire. The jungle drums started beating and we got recognition from around the country," he says.

"I've been really good at advertising and marketing," Temerlin says. "But, do you remember that song 'I Wanna Be a Producer?' In my next life I'm going to come back as a movie producer."

- by Marc Lee, Editor, AFI DALLAS Daily News


TIP SHEET: El Cortez

IN PERSON: Stephen Purvis, director, and stars Lou Diamond Phillips, James McDaniel and Glenn Plummer.

THE FILM: El Cortez is about a man getting caught in a labyrinth of deceit and betrayal after he attempts to help a wheelchair-bound miner recruit an investor to re-open a gold mine.

WHEN & WHERE: Friday March 23, 7:30pm, Angelika Film Center [Map]. Also screening Saturday March 24, 1:45pm at Angelika.


Interview with Director of Ira & Abby

Director Robert Cary tells Pop Syndicate all about Ira & Abby. Read the complete interview here. Ira & Abby screens at the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival, Friday March 23, 9:30pm, and Saturday March 24. Both screenings are at The Magnolia.


TIP SHEET: The Go Getter

IN PERSON: Martin Hynes, director

THE FILM: The Go Getter is about a teenager who steals a car and sets out on a road trip to find his brother, then receives a call from the car's owner and begins a life-altering connection with her during the ride.

WHEN & WHERE: Friday March 23, 7:15pm, The Angelika [Map]


AFI DALLAS Schedule: Saturday March 24

Click here for March 24 schedule and tickets.

Nasher Sculpture Center - 2001 Flora St. [Map]

12:00noon - AT&T TALK/SHOW
- Who Wants to be a Producer... and Do They Realize Who They Are? - Discussion hosted by Robert Wilonsky, HDNet/Dallas Observer
2:00pm - AT&T TALK/SHOW - Do We Need to Re-educate Today's Documentary Filmmakers? - Discussion hosted by Michael Speier, Daily Variety
4:30pm - AT&T TALK/SHOW - Jack Valenti Talks Film [canceled]

The Magnolia - 3699 McKinney Ave. [Map]

Milk & Opium
12:00noon Shorts Program 1
1:15pm To Kill a Mockingbird
1:55pm Ira and Abby
2:15pm Linda Linda Linda
4:30pm The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah
4:35pm War Dance
5:15pm Screamers
7:15pm Who Loves the Sun
7:30pm Veritas, Prince of Truth
7:00pm Centerpiece Screening: Inland Empire
9:45pm Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
10:00pm Student Competition 1
11:00pm Inland Empire

Angelika Film Center
- 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln. [Map]

12:00noon Big Dreams Little Tokyo
1:45pm El Cortez
2:15pm Shorts Program 2
4:15pm Sk8 Life
4:30pm The Go-Getter
6:45pm Cake: A Wedding Story
7:00pm Operation Homecoming
9:00pm The Good Life
9:15pm El Mechanico Loco
12:00midnight Beings (preceded by Coming to Town)

Victory Plaza
- AFI 100... Series - 3090 Olive St. [Map]

The Philadelphia Story
3:00pm The Bridge on the River Kwai
6:30pm American Graffiti
9:15pm Vertigo

W Hotel
- 2440 Victory Park Ln. [Map]

- Wet Deck Conversations


TIP SHEET: The Night of the White Pants

IN PERSON: Amy Talkington (director) and stars Nick Stahl, Janine Turner, Frances Fisher and Laura Jordan.

THE FILM: The Night of the White Pants is about a patriarch of a distinguished but crumbling Dallas family, forced to hit the town with his daughter's punk rock boyfriend.

WHEN & WHERE: Friday March 23, 9:30pm, Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln., Dallas, TX [Map]


TIP SHEET: Opening Night

IN PERSON: Steven Sawalich (director of Music Within) and stars Ron Livingston, Melissa George and Yul Vasquez. Also attending: AFI DALLAS Star Award recipients Lauren Bacall, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Veronique Peck (for Gregory Peck) and Sydney Pollack.

THE FILM: Music Within portrays the true story of Richard Pimentel, a brilliant public speaker with a troubled past who returns from Vietnam severely hearing impaired and finds a new purpose in his landmark efforts on behalf of Americans with disabilities. The evening's festivities will include the presentation of the festival's first annual Star Awards.

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday March 22, 7:00pm, Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75201 [Map]


AFI DALLAS Honors Classics with Free Screenings at Victory Plaza

As the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival celebrates contemporary, international cinema, so too does it honor the classics. Enjoy AFI's 100 Years... series with free screenings, open to the public, on the Victory Media Network Screens at Victory Plaza. From Citizen Kane to Casablanca, Gone With the Wind to The Wizard of Oz, the favorites come back to life with the Plaza's special presentation.
Saturday March 24
  • 12:15pm The Philadelaphia Story
  • 3:00pm The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • 6:30pm American Grafitti
  • 9:15pm Vertigo (2:08 min.)
Sunday March 25
  • 12:15pm West Side Story
  • 3:45pm Stagecoach
  • 6:15pm Rocky
  • 9:00pm Giant
Monday March 26
  • 12:15pm Tootsie
  • 3:00pm A Streetcar Named Desire
  • 6:00pm Jaws
  • 9:00pm Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Tuesday March 27
  • 12:15pm An American in Paris
  • 3:00pm Mutiny on the Bounty
  • 7:45pm Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • 10:30pm King Kong
Wednesday March 28
  • 12:15pm Double Indemnity
  • 3:00pm The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • 7:45pm Rear Window
  • 10:30pm Duck Soup
Thursday March 29
  • 12:15pm High Noon
  • 2:30pm Gone with the Wind
  • 7:00pm Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • 10:00pm Dr. Strangelove
Friday March 30
  • 12:15pm The Maltese Falcon
  • 2:45pm 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 7:45pm ET the Extra-terrestrial
  • 10:30pm Frankenstein
Saturday March 31
  • 12:15pm Some Like it Hot
  • 3:15pm Sunset Boulevard
  • 6:00pm The Wizard of Oz
  • 8:30pm Singin' in the Rain
Sunday April 1
  • 12:15pm It's a Wonderful Life
  • 3:15pm On the Waterfront
  • 6:00pm Casablanca
  • 8:30pm Citizen Kane


Interview with Director of Music Within

The AFI DALLAS International Film Festival kicks off tonight with an Opening Night screening of Music Within. Director Steven Sawalich chats with Pop Syndicate about the film. Read the interview here.