What you see above is the just-posted trailer for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, which kicks off Friday at the Magnolia beginning with a 2 p.m. screening of Johnnie To's dramedy Sparrow. As evidenced by the sneak peek, and what I've managed to see so far, it's yet another bang-up year for the festival that introduced me to what remains an all-time indie fave, Cavite. A rundown of some highlights to follow at week's end.
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But the AFFD is but one of two fests opening Friday -- also on the agenda is the Maya Indie Series, a self-proclaimed "Laitno-themed" compendium that kicks off its cross-country sojourn in Dallas at the Angelika Film Center. (No doubt because it's Blockbuster-affiliated.) Perhaps the most significant offering is a Dallas International Film Festival favorite: Ryan Piers Williams's The Dry Land, a soldier-coming-home story set in West Texas. And word just landed in the Unfair Park in-box that its stars -- America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderama, Melissa Leo and Ryan Onan, not to mention Williams -- are scheduled to attend the Friday-night kick-off. Melissa Leo? Really? Most impressive.