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What Dallas Film Fans Can Expect in 2023

Renowned horror director John Carpenter is finally coming to Dallas with a visit to the Texas Frightmare at the Irving Convention Center.
Renowned horror director John Carpenter is finally coming to Dallas with a visit to the Texas Frightmare at the Irving Convention Center. Amy Sussman/Getty
It’s not bold to say that the film industry has been struggling in the past few years. While the ramifications of theater shutdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic certainly highlighted some of the issues within the film community, the systemic issues within the industry can’t all be blamed on the events of 2020. With the rise of franchise properties and studio micromanagement, continued conversations about sexual misconduct within the industry and the rise of streaming services as a potential launchpad for most major films, it's safe to say that it's been a rough few years to be a movie fan.

That said, North Texas is home to one of the most diverse and exciting film markets in the United States. While coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles are commonly thought of as the “film capitals” of the nation, other major cities like Dallas, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C., play an important role in spreading cinematic news with a unique perspective. In Dallas you get the best of both worlds; we’re able to preview some of the industry’s biggest projects while also incorporating “slice of life” local projects that would be overshadowed in New York or L.A. If you’re a film fan, you're not going to find a more unique perspective than the one in Dallas.

The past year was an exceptional one for the Dallas film community, and it ensured that D/FW film buffs were as excited as ever about returning to theaters. At the box office, Dallas film fans were as eager as anyone else to see major blockbuster films like Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Batman. We also got our typical staple of great local festivals, from major festivities such as the Dallas International Film Festival to smaller celebrations like the one in Oak Cliff. The year 2023 offers much to look forward to for Dallas cinephiles. Check out our preview of everything that you should have on your calendar and watchlist.

World-Renowned Denton Black Film Festival Is Back
Wednesday, Jan. 25, Sunday, Jan. 29
Locations TBA

Denton’s Black Film Festival has attracted attention from film fans across the nation for its robust selection of programming. Under the leadership of Harry Eaddy, president of the Denton African American Scholarship Foundation, Inc., the festival began to incorporate workshops, spoken word performances, art showcases and charitable events over the many years. This year’s festival is one that no cinephile in the area will want to miss.

The “Master of Horror” Makes a Dallas Detour

Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28
Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.

Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York, Christine, They Live, Assault on Precinct 13, Big Trouble In Little China, Starman, The Fog, Dark Star — we could go on and on, but you get the point. There are few filmmakers more beloved by horror fans than John Carpenter, who plans to stop by Dallas to attend interviews and screenings at this year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend horror convention.

Join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra For a Tribute to John Williams

Friday, Feb. 17, through Sunday, Feb. 19
Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St.

John Williams is easily the most decorated film composer of all time, having earned five Academy Awards and over 50 nominations in his lifetime. Williams is finally retiring this year. We can forgive him, however, considering he’s 90 years old. While Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny might be your last chance to catch Williams’ new work, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is including a special performance of his most beloved scores, including Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Home Alone and many more.

The Dallas International Film Festival Offers A Robust Collection

Friday, April 28, through Thursday, May 4
Locations TBA

Dallas’ signature film celebration returns for another year of exciting previews of Hollywood fare and nuanced local productions. Although we’re not sure what titles will be included in this year’s spring preview event, expect to see some of the most acclaimed entries from January’s Sundance Film Festival.

The Oak Cliff Film Festival Returns For Another Year of Exciting Programming

Friday, June 23, through Monday, June 26
The Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.

With the promise to “curb your movie loneliness,” the Oak Cliff Film Festival is one of the best opportunities to celebrate local and student productions. With cheap tickets and some free screenings, you may consider donating to this exciting celebration of the next generation of filmmakers.

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas Is a Can't-Miss

Thursday, July 13, through Sunday, July 16
Locations TBA

Here’s another cultural film festival you won’t want to miss. The Asian Film Festival of Dallas has premiered such beloved international films as Ip Man, Battle Royale, Better Luck Tomorrow and this year’s box office smash Too Cool To Kill, so you never know what potential classic you could end up seeing. Details about programming (including student shorts) are forthcoming.

Cinemark Theaters Bring Beloved Classics To The Big Screen
Dates TBA
Participating Cinemark Theaters

Considering that the Cinemark head office is located in Plano, you can expect some great programming at your local theaters. This year, Cinemark once again launches its “Classics” series, bringing film favorites to the screen with stunning restorations and insightful commentary. Included in this year’s lineup are the Audrey Hepburn romantic comedy Roman Holiday, the cult favorite The Big Lebowski, the classic Casablanca, holiday favorite Groundhog Day, the beloved musical Grease and many more.

Rooftop Cinema Starts Up in Fort Worth
235 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth
Now that the cooler weather is finally here, you may want to take a break from seeing movies to get some fresh air. What if you could do both? Fort Worth’s Rooftop Cinema Club, which opened on Oct. 4, gives you the chance to attend outdoor screenings, where you can add cozy blankets, popcorn buckets, personal headphones and a scenic view to your screening experience.

Violet Crown Cinema Launches

3699 McKinney Ave.
Who said movie theaters are dead? Following the closure of the Magnolia Theater in Dallas, the Violet Crown Cinema relaunched this year and is planning a big 2023. The prestigious cinema will likely be one of the best places to catch next year’s most exciting releases.

Celebrate Indie Cinema With the Angelika Loyalty Program

Participating Angelika Theaters
How do surprise screenings, access to streaming titles, discounted popcorn and concessions, merchandise discounts and half-off Tuesday prices sound? What if you could get these perks for free? If you like the sound of that, you should sign up for the Angelika Film Center’s membership program, which applies to the Plano and Dallas locations.

A Big Year For Dallas Stars

The entire world will get to see some of Dallas’ most beloved stars in some of the biggest films of next year. Jonathan Majors is set to play the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next “big bad,” Kang the Conqueror, in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Jesse Plemons is already getting awards season buzz for his performance in Martin Scorsese’s ambitious crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon.
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Liam Gaughan has been covering film and television since before he had a driver's license, and in addition to the Observer has been published in, Schmoes Know, Taste of Cinema and The Dallas Morning News. He enjoys checking classic films off of his watchlist and working on spec scripts.

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