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There's No AFI Anymore, But Film Fest Has New Honorary Chairs: Tom and Laura Leppert

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A few weeks ago we mentioned some fairly significant changes at The Film Festival Formerly Known as AFI Dallas International Film Festival. Today comes word of two more items of note. One: Mayor Tom and wife Laura are now the honorary chairs for the event, which is scheduled for April 8 through 18 (the first titles should be announced, oh, in a week or so?). Says the mayor in the press release you'll find in full after the jump: "Laura and I are both honored and thrilled to serve as the Honorary Chairs for the DALLAS International Film Festival. It's wonderful to be part of an event that puts forward the best of this great city to a host of international filmmakers and literally brings a world of film and the top film artists to this community." Fingers crossed.

Also: The Dallas International Film Festival, on its own for the first time since it was known as the Deep Ellum Film Festival, has announced its first membership drive, which ain't cheap. Hence, this intro and caveat: "Circle of Stars memberships begin at $2,500 and can be paid in installments throughout the year." Just like my first pawn-shop guitar. Jump now.

DALLAS MAYOR TOM LEPPERT AND LAURA LEPPERT NAMED AS HONORARY CHAIRS OF DALLAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY ALSO ANNOUNCES FIRST MEMBERSHIP INITIATIVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION

Dallas, TX - January 19, 2010 - With preparations well underway for the DALLAS International Film Festival (April 8-18). The Dallas Film Society (DFS) announced today that Mayor Tom Leppert and his wife Laura will serve as Honorary Chairs for the film festival. The Dallas Film Society also announced the creation of its first membership program, the Circle of Stars.  

"Mayor Leppert and his wife, Laura have been stalwart supporters of the former Film Festival since its inception in 2007," said Dallas Film Society Chairman Michael Cain. Leppert's assistance and support of the inaugural edition of AFI DALLAS proved invaluable for what became a heralded first year for the film festival. They have both continued to back the subsequent editions, with Leppert joining Governor Rick Perry, Peter Bogdanovich, Ross Perot, Jr. and others at last year's Texas Day celebration of film at Victory Park which served as a culmination of the 2009 event.  

Mayor Leppert said, "Laura and I are both honored and thrilled to serve as the Honorary Chairs for the DALLAS International Film Festival. It's wonderful to be part of an event that puts forward the best of this great city to a host of international filmmakers and literally brings a world of film and the top film artists to this community."

The Dallas Film Society also took another major step toward energizing the Dallas film going community with the announcement of its Circle of Stars membership program.

Circle of Stars members will receive an array of benefits and privileges created to maximize the experience with The Dallas Film Society and its many year-round programs and events. Benefits include invitations to exclusive events, invitations to Premiere Screenings and other Dallas Film Society events, complimentary passes to the annual DALLAS International Film Festival, recognition in event programs and on the Society's website. Individual Circle of Stars memberships begin at $2,500 and can be paid in installments throughout the year.

"Circle of Stars members will help leave a lasting impression on how the world views Dallas while also providing a solid foundation to ensure the legacy of filmmaking," said Tanya Foster, President and CEO, Dallas Film Society.  

The Dallas Film Society and its annual programs are sustained by the generosity of its patrons and corporate sponsors. The Dallas Film Society inspires artists to explore film's power to reach all ages, societies and walks of life - educating, motivating and entertaining. Through this focus on the art of filmmaking, the Society is committed to enhancing the arts in Dallas. In just three years, this philosophy has inspired and driven the creation of one of the most prestigious film festivals in North America with a combined attendance of over 110,000 and notable attendees including Lauren Bacall, Sydney Pollack, David Lynch, Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron and Adrien Brody among others.

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