The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Film festival to debut in Dallas

For film addicts still reeling from post-Oscars withdrawal, a quick fix is on the way: the first-ever American Film Industry-Dallas International Film Festival. This ten-day event from March 22 to April 1 will screen 150 feature films and short films at numerous venues across the city including SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Theater. Victory Park and Victory Plaza in downtown Dallas will serve as the festival’s headquarters.

“The AFI Dallas International Film Festival is a result of Dallas’ love of film and filmmakers,” said Michael Cain, AFI Dallas CEO and festival artistic director. “We welcome this opportunity to work with the Dallas film and film festival community to bring the international cinema spotlight on Dallas.”

In addition to exposing Dallas both to the best emerging filmmakers and the Hollywood atmosphere, the red-carpet affair provides students with a unique volunteer opportunity. There are more than 50 ways to donate time, from assisting with crowd control to video production to working a private party.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of the festival. Much of the success of the festival is a direct result of their involvement,” Cain said. “This opportunity can also help students looking for ways to get involved in activities in their community outside of school.

Even students without their own means of transportation can get involved with the festival. The screenings, receptions and special events held throughout Dallas are connected by free shuttles and convenient public transportation.

Although no experience is required, volunteers are asked to be enthusiastic, energetic and reliable. Students can fill out an online application listing their availability and assignment preferences. Besides receiving volunteer perks like vouchers for free screenings and other events during the festival, “listing volunteering with AFI Dallas on your resume is not a bad move either,” says festival Volunteer Coordinator Brent Herndon.

“The festival is a great networking opportunity not just for those interested in the film industry, but for many other majors as well,” Herndon explained. “It’s even possible that the connection you made while you volunteered with AFI Dallas is just the contact you need to get you work after graduation.”

Many celebrities are anticipated to attend, among them: Sydney Pollack, David Lynch, Lauren Bacall, Marvin Hamlisch and Jack Valenti. More names will be released as the festival date draws nearer. Fans of “Sean of the Dead” won’t want to miss its cast premiering their new film, “Hot Fuzz,” at the festival.

In all, 17 awards will be given out on April 1 in film categories including animation, short films and documentaries. Target, a sponsor for the event, will present a pair of cash awards to winners of the festival’s competitions; $25,000 each will go to the winners in the narrative and documentary category as part of the event’s Target Filmmaker Awards.

With more than 200 screenings over 10 days and nights, the event is touted as one of the largest film festivals the Southwest has ever seen.

“Everyone has heard of Sundance and Cannes, and we hope to make this event just as noteworthy as the biggies,” Herndon said.

For more information, including volunteer applications, students can visit www.afidallas.com.

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