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The Dallas International Film Festival announces first 10 films

Jesse Plemmons and Molly Shannon in ‘Other People’
Jesse Plemmons and Molly Shannon in ‘Other People’

The new film from acclaimed German director Werner Herzog, a Hong Kong musical set just before the 2008 economic collapse, a documentary about the infamous mass shooting at UT Austin in 1966, and a Sundance grand-jury prize nominee are four of the first 10 films announced for the upcoming Dallas International Film Festival.

The festival runs April 14-24 at the Angelika Dallas and Alamo Drafthouse Dallas. The rest of the lineup is scheduled to be announced in mid-March. For more information, go to http://www.dallasfilm.org/.

Here are brief descriptions of the 10 films:

Other People -- Chris Kelly’s debut drama about a struggling, gay comedy writer who leaves New York to help his ailing mother in Sacramento has been a hit on the festival circuit, nabbing a grand-jury nomination at Sundance. It’s this year’s Centerpiece Gala film at DIFF. Jesse Plemmons (Black Mass) stars.

Tower -- Long before mass shootings became a regular feature on the evening news, one stood out: the 1966 murder of 16 people from the top floor of the University of Texas Tower. Keith Maitland’s documentary re-creates how it all happened from witnesses, survivors, and heroes.

A Tale of Love and Darkness -- The bestselling Amos Oz memoir bestseller, set in the early years of Israel, is turned into a film directed by and starring Natalie Portman. It was nominated for a Golden Camera at Cannes.

Daylight’s End -- This is the world premiere of the Dallas-shot sci-fi-action-thriller that has a distinct whiff of The Walking Dead and Mad Max about it. Civilization has crumbled, a plague has turned much of the population into monsters, and a hardy band of survivors have to defend themselves. Lance Henriksen, Louis Mandylor, and Johnny Strong star.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World -- The celebrated German director Werner Herzog returns with a documentary about how the online world has changed the physical world.

Office -- Chow Yun-fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as you’ve never seen him before: in a musical. And one set in a high-rise right as the world is teetering on the edge of the 2008 financial meltdown. Famed Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To directs. It was nominated for several Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan and won for art direction.

Orion -- Here’s another post-apocalyptic story, this one starring David Arquette and Lily Cole. It’s directed by Asiel Norton and it’s making its US premiere.

Sonita -- This documentary about an aspiring female rapper who also just happens to be an Afghan refugee in Iran won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. This one is reputed to be a real crowd-pleaser.

Weiner -- Relive the Anthony Weiner scandal in this documentary about his failed run to be mayor of New York City. As the election season heats up, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s look behind the scenes of a campaign could be very instructive.

Three Days in August -- Barry Bostwick, Meg Foster and Mariette Hartley star in this drama about an Irish artist confronting her past. Johnathan Brownlee’s film is having its world premiere here.

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