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

Friday, March 30, 2007

Full 20-Minute Interview with David Lynch at AFI DALLAS

See a full 20-minute interview with David Lynch at the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival here. See a quick two-minute excerpt here.


Blog Coverage for AFI DALLAS

Check these recent online updates from attendees and bloggers at the inaugural AFI DALLAS International Film Festival. (Generously compiled by Jette Kernion at Cinematical.)
  • Filmmaker Chris Hansen: 1 | 2
  • Dallas Observer's Robert Wilonsky: 1 | 2
  • Peter Martin from Twitch: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
  • Blake from Cinema Strikes Back: 1
  • Dallas Morning News: 1 | 2 | 3
  • Pegasus News: 1
  • Pop Syndicate: 1 | 2 | 3

TIP SHEET: Netherbeast Incorporated

IN PERSON: Dean Matthew Ronalds (director), and stars Dave Foley, Jason Mewes, Amy Davidson and Steve Berra

THE FILM: NETHERBEAST INCORPORATED is a quirky twist on the vampire tale, set in modern-day corporate America

WHEN & WHERE: Friday March 30, 7:30pm, The Magnolia, 3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX [map]


TIP SHEET: Away From Her

IN PERSON: Sarah Polley (director) and star Gordon Pinsent

THE FILM: AWAY FROM HER is an acclaimed character study of a man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease who faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man

WHEN & WHERE: Closing Night Gala Screening and Reception, Saturday, March 31, 7:30pm, Landmark Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX [map]


Exclusive: Jefe Brown on Differences Between Prague and Texas

SHUT UP AND SHOOT ME producer Jefe Brown on the differences between his "homes" in Prague and Texas:

GOING FROM PRAGUE TO TEXAS: "When coming to the States, and Texas in particular, much of it is language. It has become strange to be in a place where everyone is speaking English around me and all the signs are in English. Also, the Texas friendliness takes me aback at first because Czechs are not that way at all. And I do like this friendlinees. In Texas, you can strike up a conversation with anyone and the positive, can-do spirit of Texans is infectious. It makes me feel like I can get things done here."

GOING FROM TEXAS TO PRAGUE: "On the other hand, when arriving back 'home' to Prague, it does take some getting used to. Czechs are generally very reserved and skeptical and dont exactly say hello to you on the street. Also, the language issue is large. I have to get my head around speaking Czech - mostly about how to phrase things and getting used to using the formal and informal devices in the language. Also, though I speak Czech well, I am automatically taken as a foreigner based on my accent and have to get used to being seen that way. Much of it is just being aware of where you are and how you are perceived. Also everything takes longer to organize because the bureauracy. There is just more paperwork and clearances across the board."


Closing Weekend Film Schedules


AFI DALLAS Schedule: Friday March 30

Click here for March 30 schedule and tickets to the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Target, founding sponsor Victory Park.

The Magnolia - 3699 McKinney Ave. [Map]
5:00p The Favor
5:30p Shorts Program 6
7:15p Dark Matter
7:30p Netherbeast Incorporated
7:45p Sharkwater
9:30p Diggers
9:45p Midlothia
10:00p Black Irish
12:00m Wrestlemaniac

Angelika Film Center - 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln. [Map]
5:00p Punk's Not Dead
5:30p Anatomy of the Canvas
7:15p Man in the Chair
7:30p Strong Enough to Break
9:30p Drama/MEX
9:45p Next: A Primer on Urban Painting

Victory Plaza - AFI 100... Series - 3090 Olive St. [Map]
12:15p The Maltese Falcon
2:45p 2001: A Space Odyssey
7:45p ET the Extra-terrestrial
10:30p Frankenstein

W Hotel - 2440 Victory Park Ln. [Map]
5:00p Wet Deck Conversations - Finding the Audience for the Message Movie - With Missy Schwartz (Entertainment Weekly), Joseph Greco and Joe Pantoliano (Canvas)


Revised: April 1 Added Screenings

The following screenings have just been added and revised on the lineup for the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival. For tickets and the rest of the Sunday April 1 schedule click here.

Angelika Film Center - 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln. [Map]
  • Sunday April 1, 7:00pm - Target Award Winner: Documentary
  • Sunday April 1, 9:00pm - Third Ward, TX
  • Sunday April 1, 9:00pm - Beings
The Magnolia - 3699 McKinney Ave. [Map]
  • Sunday April 1, 1:00pm - El Mechanico Loco
  • Sunday April 1, 4:00pm - Audience Award Winner: Narrative Feature
  • Sunday April 1, 6:00pm - Target Award Winner: Narrative Feature
  • Sunday April 1, 6:15pm - Shorts Winners (includes Jury Winner, Audience Winner, Student Winner and Animation Winner)
  • Sunday April 1, 6:30pm - Audience Award Winner: Documentary

Guests Added to Saturday Panel Discussion

Join us for AT&T TALK/SHOW - free and open to the public - during closing weekend of the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora Street [map].
  • Saturday March 31, 12:00 noon - The True Independence of Independent Film - Hosted by Gary Cogill, WFAA - Are we witnessing another shift in filmmaking ways and means where a truly independent film is one shot on a DV cam? If there isn't a "name" in your cast have you already thrown in the towel as far as making a "sell" when it is all said and done? Finally, is there a law of diminishing returns in terms of vision as your film's budget (and studio involvement) increases?

  • Guest Panelists:

    • Lori McCreary - 10 Items or Less
    • Dean Matthew Ronalds & Brian Ronalds - Netherbeast Incorporated
    • Doug Mankoff - Away From Her
    • James Skotchdopole - GrindhouseLawrence Silverstein - Sk8 Life

  • Saturday March 31, 2:00 pm - What's the Female Point? - Hosted by Missy Schwartz, Entertainment Weekly - A look at getting films made and getting stories told from the female perspective. How have the hurdles and challenges changed recently (if at all)? Is the ultimate goal to tell a truthful story from a female perspective or simply to tell a good story, regardless of the perspective?

  • Saturday March 31, 3:30 pm - The Past Ten Years - Hosted by 2929 Entertainment CEO Todd Wagner - It's been ten years since the height of Broadcast.com, and many of the programs and initiatives that Wagner and partner Mark Cuban were pushing back then are now fully integrated into people's lives. Ten years ago, of course, that was a different story. As Wagner likes to say, in digital entertainment, everything old is new again.

Scenes from Day Eight

Photo galleries from day eight of the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival, March 29, 2007.

AFI DALLAS Film Sets Canadian Box Office Record

Rob Stewart and Friends
An entry in the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival, Rob Stewart's critically acclaimed, award-winning film SHARKWATER, made history this weekend with the largest opening weekend of any Canadian documentary.

The film opened March 23, beating opening box office totals of Canada's top grossing documentaries, Bowling for Columbine and The Corporation, as well as international documentaries March of the Penguins and An Inconvenient Truth.

See SHARKWATER at AFI DALLAS, Friday March 30, 7:45pm, and Saturday March 31, 8:30pm, at The Magnolia.


In the March 30 Daily News Print Edition

Cover AFI DALLAS Daily News, March 30

AFI DALLAS Programs Reach Students

Educational outreach is an essential component of the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival mission and programming. Question and answer sessions after screenings encourage conversation, and special panel discussions throughout the Festival have given filmmakers and patrons the opportunity to explore all facets of the film industry.

In its first year, AFI DALLAS has gone even further than the typical film festival, creating additional special programs for learners of all ages.

"One of the greatest experiences of my life was my time at the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles," Michael Cain, AFI DALLAS CEO and artistic director, says. "I was able to learn from the best and to work with others who had the same passion for film that I did."

One logical partner in these endeavors was local universities. AFI DALLAS worked with SMU, TCU and UNT to establish a series of masterclasses. In these sessions, lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, composer Marvin Hamlisch, screenwriter Jim Hart, producer Doug Mankoff and director Sidney Pollack visited campuses and met with students and faculty from music and film departments. Students had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to ask questions and learn much from these master filmmakers.

Marvin Hamlisch also "took his show on the road" in a special session at the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School. Hamlisch sat at the piano, played examples from his career and took questions from students filling the auditorium.

A centerpiece of AFI DALLAS educational programming in this inaugural year was the first Screen Education Workshop in North Texas. The AFI Screen Education process is about training and empowering teachers to use film and the process of filmmaking as a means of engaging their students in core subjects. Even in this first effort, the response was overwhelming.

"We were thrilled to be part of AFI Dallas," said Mitch Aiken, Director of AFI's Screen Education program. "With our colleagues at Discovery Education, we brought teachers from El Paso, Austin, Waco, Houston, Pasadena, Irving, Dallas and more, together for two days of hands-on AFI K-12 Screen Education training. The teachers were also treated to AFI Dallas film screenings in the evenings, which added greatly to their experience. We are already looking forward to next year!"


Who Are These People? Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise; or Louise and Thelma
Thelma and Louise; or Louise and Thelma

While they aren't people, Thelma and Louise, the white toy poodles that call Artistic Director Michael Cain and Board of Directors Liaison Melina McKinnon their owners have been familiar faces and wagging tails in the AFI Dallas office from the beginning. We told them to "sit" for a quick Q&A.

Q: So, what is the best part of the AFI DALLAS festival for you?

Thelma: People eating lunch.

Louise: The comfy chairs in Michael's office.

Q: The worst part?

Thelma: Sydney (Tearlach Hutcheson's dog).

Louise: Can't stand her.

Thelma: Bitch.

Q: What's your favorite film so far?

Louise: Fido.

Thelma: The Bracelet of Bordeaux.

Thelma: Do you have one of those rawhide chews?

Q: No, sorry. Describe your job or jobs at the festival.

Louise: Pretty much, we're just here to run around, let people rub our dog bellies and... is that bacon?

Q: No, that's not bacon. So, what else do you do?

Thelma: Sleep. We sleep a lot.

Louise: All of those people working all of time. It's exhausting. For us. To watch them.

Q: So, you sleep and let people feed you and rub your belly.

Louise: That and fool people into thinking we're each other.

Thelma: It's a job, what can you say. Seriously, are you sure you don’t have any Snausages?



AFI DALLAS has partnered with the Students for Environmental Awareness at The University of Texas at Dallas.

One of the festival's efforts to connect with the community is to protect the environment by introducing recycling at the venues we use. The festival puts systems in place that assist our venues to make recycling a natural, easy process for film lovers.

AFI DALLAS is committed to making responsible product choices with its sponsors by using recyclable materials and encouraging groups like the Students for Environmental Awareness.


Fellow Film Fests Run Year Round

The AFI DALLAS International Film Festival is organized for the following purposes: to celebrate films and their impact on society; to honor filmmakers and recognize their achievements and contribution in enhancing the creative community; to provide educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today's world; and to promote the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking.

However, AFI DALLAS doesn't do this alone. Here, you'll find our partner film festivals and their schedules. We encourage you to attend as many as you can and help promote film and filmmakers in Dallas.


Deep Ellum Sounds: Music of Misfits Strikes a Chord

X Susan Dynner's documentary, PUNK'S NOT DEAD (Screening Thursday, 3/29 at 7:15PM and Friday, 3/30 at 5:00PM) takes a considered look at a group of artists and their music who don’t necessarily encourage such scrutiny. Because of that, Punk is arguably the most misunderstood branch of the rock 'n' roll family tree. However, after receiving rare access to many of these bands and after providing even rarer insight, Dynner's film is already being endorsed by loyal fans as the go-to film documenting the evolution of Punk from its beginnings to the current state of things today.

Q: Did you enter into the project as a fan first or a documentarian first? Did that change at all during the course of compiling the interviews?

A: I started taking photos of punk bands in the early 80's so I was both a fan and a documentarian in the sense that I had compiled years and years of photos. I think the bands trusted me to tell their stories because they saw me as one of their peers rather than a journalist infiltrating their scene.

Q: What is the most common misconception about the Punk music movement?

A: That it's dead just because it's changed and evolved. It's still vital for those who have something to say and want to express themselves, and it's still new for the kids just getting into it.

Q: You connect the dots between eras in the film. What surprised you the most regarding the connections between the artists and their styles?

A: I don't know that it was really a surprise, but a lot of the pop-punk bands get a lot of crap for signing to majors. People tend to forget that bands like The Clash, The Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Damned, etc., were all on majors, and even bands like The UK Subs, Sham 69, etc were on Top of the Pops.

Q: Who would you single out as the unsung hero?

A: The bands who have carried on playing all these year (many for 30 years) and don't care about the money or fame. They do it because they love it and they've inspired generations of bands.

Q: Who do you think is poised to be the new standard bearer?

A: I don't think there is just one. There are loads of new bands coming up and hopefully a bunch of them will make a mark.

Q: If a punk band had to be "sponsored by," what company would be most acceptable?

A: I would say the most acceptable sponsor is one that's already a part of the scene and isn’t just a corporation who has no idea about punk, but thinks they can make a buck off it. Sponsors like Vans, AP Magazine, Hot Topic, etc, along with musical instrument sponsors make more sense.

Q: Who was your favorite interview in the film? Why?

A: That's a loaded question! Everyone gave me their time—many bands let me tour with them and/or invited me into their homes. Many bands were already good friends, so it was a lot of fun to interview them. I met tons of cool people and made a lot of new friends through interviewing the bands.

Q: What CDs did you buy because of the interviews?

A: I was given loads of great CDs so I didn’t have to buy a lot, but I did buy a lot of CDs that I already had on vinyl. The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, The Adverts, Sham 69. I bought a bunch of UK Subs CDs just to use for a sequence that we filmed for the movie (just the ones the band didn't have to give me). Oh - and I bought T.V. Smith's (from The Adverts) new solo CD. He's so talented!

Dynner will appear at both screenings of PUNK'S NOT DEAD.


Spotlight on the Texas Competition

Edward Furlong, Curtis Wayne and Trent Haaga
Edward Furlong, Curtis Wayne and Trent Haaga

Four thieves in director Jon Keeyes' LIVING AND DYING find the tables have turned when two crazed killers take them hostage. But, wait, one of the thieves is actually an ATF agent.


The Next Two Days

Rob Stewart and Friends

Things you don't want to miss during the next two days.

March 31 - A LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR (Dir. Eric Chaikin) - 4 p.m. @ SMU Hughes-Triggs Theater - Six wannabe lawyers are studying for the California Bar Exams, but their chances for success are only 39 percent. Eric Chalkin shows how the legal system affects American culture through the students and interviews with big-time trial lawyers.

March 31 - SHARKWATER (Dir. Rob Stewart) - 8:30 p.m. @ Magnolia - Sharks often get a bad rap at the movies, but Rob Stewart shows just how important they are to the ecosystem and how fear and ignorance is threatening the species.

April 1 - Red Road (Dir. Andrea Arnold) - 1:30 p.m. @ AFC - A surveillance camera operator spies a man from her past and becomes hell-bent on exacting her revenge on the struggling ex-convict in this thriller from the UK and Denmark.

April 1 - BLIND DATING (Dir. James Keach) - 7 p.m. @ AFC - Dating is tough, and blind dating is tougher. But what about dating while blind? Director Keach puts a special spin on the saga of romance.


Who Are These People? AFI DALLAS Staff

If you've ever wondered who’s running this show - really running the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival - it’s Managing Director Tearlach Hutcheson, who oversees the staff.

Not to take credit away from the festival’s founders, executives, other staff or army of volunteers, but Tearlach is the guy whose mental muscle helps the staff managing the incredible logistics of the festival.

That the machinery of the AFI DALLAS runs quietly in the background is as much a reflection of Tearlach’s personality as it is his skill at engineering a project of this size. The tall, quiet - almost pensive - Australian doesn’t seek the limelight. Instead he concentrates on moving and setting the blocks that form AFI Dallas' foundation. But don't let his mild-mannered exterior fool you. He's a born manager and if he yells for your attention at a staff meeting, you definitely pay attention.

This master of understatement says he is "pleasantly surprised" at the success of the festival. "When you start something of this magnitude, you ask yourself, 'Are we the only crazy ones that think this will work?' But when you see people at the theaters embracing your ideas, it's just great."

At 19, Tearlach bought a one-way ticket to London and left his hometown of Sydney. And has lived overseas ever since. "I couldn't afford the $400 for the return flight," he says, joking - or maybe he isn't.

No stranger to event management, he has filled many roles from Director of Publicity & Promotions to Director of Sales for Landmark Theatres 70 plus theatres. He also oversaw the Magnolia Theatre when it first opened and built it into one of the most popular theatres in Dallas. And he recently oversaw the renovation of the beloved Inwood Theatre.

"There's nothing like walking into the Magnolia theater on a rainy Monday night and seeing that it's crowded. And at the same time there's lines of people going for miles at the Angelika."

Despite the success of the festival and the way the city has embraced the idea, he says he's most impressed by by the festival's staff, which includes Operations Manager Mark Mahlo, Director of Operations Matt Ostasiewski and Office Manager Charla Rahdar.

"There's a lot of behind the scenes work that happens, which people don’t see. The level of work here is more than what you have at a 30-screen megaplex. In fact, during the festival it's like having a major movie opening every night. But all I do is manage people, and they get all the work done."

How many of us get to hear our supervisors say something like that, much less mean it?

By Marc Lee, Editor


Last Chance for Wet Deck

[UPDATED March 30, 12:55pm] Poolside and above it all on the 16th floor of the W Hotel [map], the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival Wet Deck Conversations offer a chance to meet filmmakers up close and personal. Wet Deck Conversations are free and open to the public.

  • Friday March 30, 5:00pm - Horror & Comedy: A Winning Combination? - With Elvis Mitchell, Amy Davidson (Netherbeast Incorporated) and Leah Milani (Wrestle Maniac).

Special Thanks to AFI DALLAS Daily News Staff

AFI DALLAS Daily News Staff AFI DALLAS Daily News Staff AFI DALLAS Daily News Staff

A special thanks to the staff of the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival's DAILY NEWS. They've given festival goers in-depth interviews with filmmakers and actors big and small, fantastic overviews of films that help readers plan their experiences and worked tirelessly to provide the most important and up-to-date information for attendees.


Interview with Director of Netherbeast Incorporated

The employees of Netherbeast, Inc. are just like you me, or they would be if we were vampires. Director Dean Matthew Ronalds chats with Pop Syndicate about his new film. Read the interview here.

See NETHERBEAST INCORPORATED at the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival, Friday March 30, 7:30pm, and Saturday March 31, 9:45pm, at The Magnolia.