Over the course of four days, DocuFest showcases several themes with different approaches and shows how we experience real life in new ways.There are several threads running through many of the films in the festival:
Films about films, filmmakers and actors
Green Cinema (environmental-focused films)
Films about the Holocaust and humanity
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT (USA)
Director: Ellen Goldfarb
FRIDAY, OCT. 6
BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY (USA)
BADASS BEAUTY QUEEN
SATURDAY, OCT. 7
EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY (USA)
Co-presented with Friends of the Dallas Public Library and Wordspace
Stella and Harry are two affluent, cosmopolitan teenagers who are part of the enormous wave of “parachute students” from Mainland China enrolling in U.S. private schools. Filmed over three years in China and the U.S., MAINELAND tells a multi-layered coming-of-age tale, following this buoyant, fun-loving girl and introspective boy as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar small-town rural Maine. They come seeking a Western-style education, escape from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam, and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. But as their fuzzy shining visions of the American dream slowly gain more sober clarity, their relationship to home takes on a surprising new aspect.
The 1960s were a turbulent decade for the City of Dallas, including bearing the stigma as the location of President John F Kennedy’s assassination. But the 1960 expansion Dallas Cowboys began paving the way to become one of the most popular teams in the world, and it started with a group of players and coaches who would help define a city’s image and identity. First Cowboys is a documentary currently in production, telling the story of Dallas in the 1960s through the eyes of the players of its crown jewel – the Dallas Cowboys. Discussion features filmmaker Michael Meredith, son of legendary Cowboys great Don Meredith, who is currently searching for home movies from the Dallas community to help tell this story.
Dallas-based filmmaker in attendance.
THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES (Scotland)
On the isolated North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands, the longtime hunting practices of the Faroese are threatened by dangerously high mercury levels in the whales, decimated seabird populations, and anti-whaling activists. The Faroe islanders consider themselves a canary in the mine, their tale a warning to the rest of the world.
Website and trailer:
BILL NYE SCIENCE GUY (USA)
Documentary on the Festival Circuit. Bill Nye is retiring his kid show act in a bid to become more like his late professor, astronomer Carl Sagan. Sagan dreamed of launching a spacecraft that could change interplanetary exploration. Bill sets out to accomplish Sagan’s space mission, but he is pulled away when he is challenged by evolution and climate change contrarians to defend the scientific consensus. Can Bill show the world why science matters in a culture increasingly indifferent to evidence?
Filmmaker and Dallas native, David Alvarado, will be in attendance.
DON’T FRACK WITH DENTON (USA)
The empowering story of how my hometown became the first city in Texas to ban the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deep in the heart of the oil and gas empire. I’ve already released the opening chapter of this ongoing story online.
Filmmaker in attendance
SUNDAY, OCT. 8
*DOCUMENTARY SHORTS BLOCK:
Polar opposites will collide against a background of national political turmoil when conservative Republican Ted Cruz defends his U.S. Senate seat against center-left liberal Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2018. Handicapped as the ultimate ‘long shot’ battle, the Cruz/O’Rourke fight pits an aggressive unconventional grassroots campaign free of PAC money and political consultants against a formidably organized and well-funded GOP effort. In a vast ‘red’ rural state punctuated with ‘blue’ urban areas, both camps will court a Texas electorate divided by ideology and geography.
Friday Nights in Frederick is an observational documentary short about homecoming day in a fading town. Frederick, OK has spent the last 50 years losing many of its most valuable economic assets, leaving many residents without the opportunity for work and growth. Inside this regional depression exists a rural culture and spirit that will disappear when the town does. This documentary smashes these two forces together to show how spirit thrives even when walking the path to nonexistence.
A crowd gathers until the early morning at a boozy London pub to watch the US presidential election. As dawn breaks, emotions escalate and the evening takes a turn for the worse.
Every weekend, 17-year old Chris and his family hunt rabbits during sugarcane field burning and harvesting in the Florida Everglades.
Standing tall at 4’8,″ Sonia is one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Kansas City and one of the only survivors there who speaks publicly about her wartime experience. Sonia’s enormous personality and fragile frame mask the horrors she endured. At 15, she watched her mother disappear behind gas chamber doors. Sonia’s teenage years were a blur of concentration camps and death marches. On liberation day, she was accidentally shot through the chest, yet again miraculously survived. Sonia is the ultimate survivor, a bridge between cultures and generations. Her story must never be forgotten.
ANGEL WAGENSTEIN: ART IS A WEAPON (USA)
Director: Andrea Simon
As a teenager in wartime Bulgaria, Wagenstein commanded a daredevil Jewish partisan brigade, surviving capture and torture by fascist police. When post-war dreams of a socialist utopia turned to dust, his films became a kind of covert resistance against the brutality of the Stalinist era. This is one of the great untold stories of world cinema: at 94, Wagenstein is still a man of massive charm and ferocious intelligence, a passionate witness to history and influential voice in the debate on Europe’s rocky post-communist future. Intimate conversations, excerpts from his films, and rare archive materials inform this visually striking and provocative documentary on a remarkable artist.
Directed by Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) and executive produced by Texas native Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), ESCAPES blazes a wild path through mid-20th-century Hollywood via the experiences of Hampton Fancher – flamenco dancer, actor, and the unlikely producer and screenwriter of the landmark sci-fi classic BLADE RUNNER. (Fancher also penned the story for its sequel, BLADE RUNNER 2049. – opening the same weekend as #DVF30DocuFest) A consummate raconteur, Fancher recounts episodes from his remarkable life — romantic misadventures with silver-screen stars, wayward acts of chivalry, jealousy, and friendship — matched with a parallel world of film and TV footage wherein Fancher plays cowboys, killers, fops, cads, and the occasional hero. ESCAPES shows how one man’s personal journey can unexpectedly shape a medium’s future.
DALLAS VIDEOFEST 30
FESTIVAL BADGES and TICKETS:
All-Festival Badges: $100