News and Features

DIFF – The First 10 Films

We’re just more than a month away from the Dallas International Film Festival. And to get your attention, the festival has released a list of 10 films that will play the event.

The title on the list you may recognize is Mud, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and stars Matthew McConaughey as a fugitive. He stays one step ahead of the law with the help of two teenage boys, who are enthralled by his tales of life on the run.

Of local note, Pit Stop will also play the fest. It’s directed by Yen Tan — whom we profiled back in 2008 before he left Dallas for Austin — and it was written by Dallas’ David Lowery. Much of the creative team behind that one is also North Texas-based.

Full descriptions of each of the 10 films are after the jump. DIFF runs April 4-14.

BUCK WILD (USA)

Director:  Tyler Glodt

Set in Texas, BUCK WILD follows four friends whose hunting trip goes horribly, gruesomely awry after they accidentally shoot the deer lease’s owner. While covering their tracks, the boys get into even more of a mess that includes conniving cops, eccentric New York gang bangers, a seductress named Candy and a growing plague of zombies.

 THE DIRTIES (Canada)

Director:  Matt Johnson

After years of being picked on at school, best friends Matt and Owen decide to make a revenge fantasy movie about their bullies. But what starts out as a funny and creative way to cope with their daily abuse starts to become an actual plan for Matt who wants to make their lighthearted fiction into a violent reality.

GOD LOVES UGANDA (USA)
Director:  Roger Ross Williams

GOD LOVES UGANDA reveals how various pastors and politicians, both in the US and abroad, are trying to convert Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity, complete with anti-gay views and policies. With so much of Uganda’s population under the age of 15, these influential powers are preaching to vulnerable minds with violent consequences. This film gives an enthralling look at a movement that is both a threat to human rights and a contradiction to the Christian message of love thy neighbor.

JUMP (Ireland)

Director: Kieron J. Walsh

JUMP follows the intersecting lives of four very different twenty-somethings as fate brings them together on New Year’s Eve. United by their connection to a crime boss and the disappearance of an innocent man, Greta, Pearse, Johnny and Marie are dangling on the edge of legality and redemption, and their actions will have consequences for them all.

MUD (USA)

Director:  Jeff Nichols

MUD is an adventure about two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. MUD describes fantastic scenarios—he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow.

PIT STOP (USA)

Director: Yen Tan

Filmed and set in Texas, PIT STOP paints a portrait of multiple lovers recovering from loss. After an affair with a married man, Gabe finds solace in the enduring love of his daughter and ex-wife, while on the other side of town, Ernesto spends his free time in the hospital caring for a past love trapped in a coma. This subtle and moving film captures the enduring hope of people temporarily stalled on the highway of life.

RENOIR (France)

Director: Gilles Bourdos

Set in the French Riviera during the summer of 1915, RENOIR paints a portrait of the last years in the life of famous impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. When the artist’s son Jean returns home after being wounded in World War I, he finds his father has a new muse, Andree. Her vibrant presence breathes new life into both men.

RISING FROM ASHES (USA/Rwanda/UK/South Africa)

Director: T.C. Johnstone

In RISING FROM THE ASHES, cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda to help a rag tag group of cyclists pursue their dream of representing their country at the 2012 Olympics. Coached by the first American to ride in the Tour de France, the aspiring athletes are also survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Narrated by Forest Whitaker, this moving documentary shows how hope breaks away from sorrow.

STACKER (USA)

Director: Jeremi Mattern

Begun in California in the early 1980s, competitive cup stacking is a lesser-known but growing sport. In STACKER, director Jeremi Mattern documents the fast-paced lives of young athletes as they train for and compete in the annual World Sport Stacking Championships in Denver, Colorado, with more than 300 competitors from across the globe battling it out in lightning-quick rounds with the odds quite literally stacked against them.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY (USA)

Director:  John Ramos

We’ve all clicked “Agree” on a website or smartphone app without reading the way-too-wordy extended policy. But have you wondered what exactly you’re agreeing to? The documentary TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY ventures into the fascinating and frightening rabbit hole of high-tech communications and privacy policies and will live you wondering if there is such a thing as a private life online.