Tablet Life & Arts

Dallas International Film Festival announces initial line-up

Nicolas Cage’s return to serious acting, a documentary about a gay rodeo, an action thriller with Chinese star Andy Lau, a drama starring Aaron Paul, and a 30th anniversary screening of Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas, are among the 10 films announced for this year’s Dallas International Film Festival which runs April 3-13.

Here are synopses of the movies:

Words and Pictures: Australian director Fred Schepisi ( Six Degrees of Separation) returns with this comedy drama about a rivalry at a school where students fall into two warring camps: those who think words are more important, and those who think pictures are more important.

Joe: Nicolas Cage, perhaps seeing the success of Matthew McConaughey, is putting his B-movie action personality on ice while makes time for this Texas-set drama about a man who has to come to the defense of a 15-year-old boy (played by Tye Sheridan of Mud). It’s directed by David Gordon Green ( Pineapple Express) who has some Texas roots himself.

Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo: Matt Livadary’s documentary follows a season on the rodeo circuit with the International Gay Rodeo Association.

Firestorm: Making its North American premiere here, this Andy Lau vehicle -- about an audacious crime crew taking over Hong Kong -- promises to show off lots of two-fisted, double-barreled action.

Hellion: Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis star in this drama about a broken family.

Rich Hill: This documentary explores the lives of three boys in a struggling Midwestern town.

Above All Else: The controversial Keystone XL pipeline is the focus of this documentary about one man who is trying to stop it from going through East Texas.

Ida: This drama is a Polish film about a nun in 1960s Poland who discovers a family secret that goes back to the years of Nazi occupation.

Believe Me: Austin-based Riot Studios has come up with comedy about a group of desperate and broke college students who decide to start a fake charity to raise money for tuition. Will Bakke (the cult hit Beware of Christians documentary) directs and Nick Offerman ( We’re the Millers) stars.

Paris, Texas: The classic Texas-set drama starring Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, and Dean Stockwell returns to the big screen.

Festival passes are on sale at and run between $125 and $750. Beginning March 17, individual tickets will go on sale at the main box office at Mockingbird Station and through the web site.