The Film Festival Formerly Known as AFI Dallas kicks of Thursday with an opening-night fete at the Winspear Opera House, where Ann-Margret and fest co-founder Liener Temerlin will be honored before a screening of Sundance fave Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey. My chat with Dallas International Film Festival Artistic Director and chief programmer James Faust, during which we talk reconciling art and commerce in these tough times, runs in the paper tomorrow. And though the fest's schedule guide has accompanied the paper version of Unfair Park in recent weeks, the DIFF notes this morning it's made some last-minute additions including a few titles and a few more recipients of Star Awards.
Among those being given the awards are Scott Z. Burns (writer of The Bourne Ultimatum and The Informant!) and Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, co-directors of How to Train Your Dragon and Lilo & Stitch, who will receive the Texas Avery Animation Award so named for the North Dallas High School immortal. (Last year's recipient was Up's Pete Docter, The Nicest Man Who Ever Lived.) Also receiving a nod will be the late Horton Foote, currently being feted 'round town during the till-May celebration of his work.
On the other side you'll find the rundown of new titles added to the schedule -- among them the Morgan Freeman-narrated nature doc from Warners called Born to Be Wild.
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New titles added to Dallas international Film Festival Schedule:
BETWEEN NOTES (USA) - WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Christopher Grissom
A musician trades his dream for a corporate job to keep his relationship but when the girl leaves him, he's left wondering what went wrong. Is he ready to fall in love again with a person or just with an idea of love?
BORN TO BE WILD (USA)
Director: David Lickley
Narrated by Morgan Freeman, BORN TO BE WILD documents the animal orphan rehabilitation program at the Birute Galdikas' research station in Borneo. It gives audiences an intimate look at these amazing beasts in their natural habitats.
IN THE LAND OF FIREWORKS (USA) World Premiere
Director: Joel Curry
A successful businessman sees his professional and personal life veer out of control after his girlfriend announces she is pregnant.
SPLIT MILK (USA) WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Blake Calhoun
A disenchanted assistant manager of a local grocery store is the victim of a late-night robbery during his night shift and as everyone is taken hostage in the store, the group is forced together to wait in the safe.