There are so many film festivals taking place in North Texas that trying to keep up with them is dizzying. Case in point: Over the summer, five specialty film fests are unspooling that could slip under the radar of even the most dedicated movie fan.
Here’s a rundown:
African Film Festival (Friday-Monday): With more than 40 features, documentaries and shorts from all over Africa as well as the African diaspora in the U.S., this festival offers a spotlight on a part of the world often overlooked at other area festivals. Even though Nigeria (aka “Nollywood”) has a robust film industry, it’s rare for a Nigerian film to make it to American screens. AFF is showing several Nigerian movies, though two of the most intriguing titles on the schedule have American ties. “Singleton Boulevard,” set in west Dallas in the summer of 1963, follows four characters whose lives come together in a bar along the street that gives the film its title. The short doc “A Place for Us” chronicles the travels of an African-American family looking for a country to live in that it feels will be less plagued by violence, racism and police brutality. African American Museum, 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas. theafricanfilmfestival.org.
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Asian Film Festival of Dallas (July 13-20): South Korea has emerged as one of the most creative film scenes on the planet, and anyone who has attended this festival over the years has seen that evolution and growth. The program also features films from China, Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere and is always a cool mid-summer gift for film fans. As of press time, this year’s lineup had not been released. Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. www.asianfilmdallas.com.
Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase (July 14-16): This street-level, grass-roots festival spotlights films from Texas but shows movies from all over. In that sense, it’s more in line with more general festivals like the Dallas International Film Festival and Fort Worth’s Lone Star Film Festival but without the big names and corporate sponsorship. Some noteworthy films this year include “Prepper,” the shot-in-Dallas drama about a teacher who becomes a survivalist; and “Signs of Humanity,” about SMU advertising professor Willie Baronet and his personal mission involving buying the signs of the homeless and telling their stories. Norris Conference Centers, 304 Houston St., Fort Worth. www.fwindie.com.
Women Texas Film Festival II (Aug. 16-20): In its second year, this festival focuses on movies by and about women. At least one woman has to have been involved as writer, producer, director, cinematographer, editor or composer to have a film screened. Check the website later in the summer for details about this year’s lineup. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas. womentxff.org
Jewish Film Festival (Sept. 7-27): In its 21st year, this festival spotlights films from all over the world that deal with Jewish themes. Titles this year include: “Keep Quiet,” the documentary about far-right, anti-Semitic Hungarian politician Csanad Szegedi, who finds out his grandparents were Jewish; and “The Pickle Recipe,” an American comedy about a man’s attempt to steal his grandmother’s pickle recipe. Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley, 13933 N. Central Expressway, Dallas. www.jccdallas.org/artculture/film-festival/