Two world premieres and several films that drew attention recently at the Venice Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the AFI Fest are among the first 11 titles announced for this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, running March 30 through April 9.
The world premieres are Jameson Brooks’ “Bomb City” and Micah Barber’s “Into the Who Knows.” “Bomb City,” shot in Dallas and Amarillo and starring Ron Lester and Lorelei Linklater, is about a pitched battle between punks and conservatives in a small Texas town. It’s based on the true story of the late punk-rock musician Brian Deneke.
“Into the Who Knows,” shot in the Austin area and starring Macon Blair and Bryce Gheisar, is a family film about a young boy and his invisible best friend who just happens to be a fox.
Here’s the breakdown on the other nine films:
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“Strad Style”: Winner of the grand jury prize and audience award for best documentary at the Slamdance Film Festival, this film chronicles the adventures of Daniel Houck, a rural Ohioan and an unlikely obsessive about the Stradivarius violin, one of classical music’s most treasured instruments.
“Buster’s Mal Heart”: Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”), Toby Huss (“Halt and Catch Fire”) and DJ Qualls stars in this speculative drama about a man torn between two bodies, a conspiracy theorist and something called The Inversion. It was nominated in the audience award/new auteurs category at AFI Fest.
“Score: A Film Music Documentary”: Film composers want their work to be heard but they generally stay out of camera range. That’s not true in this doc in which the likes of Danny Elfman, John Williams, Trent Reznor, Quincy Jones, Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL talk about their craft. It was the audience choice winner at the Tacoma Film Festival.
“Frantz”: This French film is nominated for several honors at this year’s Cesar Awards (France’s Academy Awards) and won an award at the Venice Film Festival for actress Paula Beer. It tells the story of a young German woman during WWI, lost in grief over the loss of her boyfriend in France, and a mysterious man who enters her life.
“The Lost City of Z”: Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland and Sienna Miller star in this adventure tale about British explorer Percival Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon in the ’20s. James Gray (“The Immigrant,” “Two Lovers”) directs.
“44 Pages”: If you’re well into any part of adulthood, you probably haven’t thought about Highlights magazine in years. But this documentary about the long-running publication for children pulls back the curtain on the cultural phenomenon. It screens here not long after its debut at SXSW.
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”: The only American bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 was a small institution called the Abacus Federal Saving of Chinatown in New York. This documentary follows it over the course of its five-year legal battle. It’s directed by documentarian Steve James of “Hoop Dreams” and “The Interrupters” fame. It placed second for the people’s choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“A Bad Idea Gone Wrong”: Matt Jones, Will Rogers and Jonny Mars star in this shot-in-Fort Worth comedy about two thieves who get trapped in a house they break into.
“The Present Ones (Los Presentes)”: This Mexican film revolves around an actress who comes to a crisis point in her life. It stars popular Mexican actress Marianna Burelli.
In addition, the festival — which is sponsored by the Dallas Film Society — will present the Studio Movie Grill Silver Heart Award to the film “that best addresses human rights issues,” according to a press release. That honor comes with $5,000 cash prize.
Screenings will be at the Angelika and Landmark Magnolia theaters in Dallas.
Online ticket sales for members of the Dallas Film Society begin March 13. Sales open to the public March 16. The physical Prekindle ticket office opens March 20. For more information, go to www.dallasfilm.org.