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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

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Dallas International Film Festival arrives, featuures impressive foreign films, home lineup

Courtesy of Mike Maker Film
Bill Heck and Amy Seimetz star in “Pit Stop.”

Bill Heck and Amy Seimetz star in “Pit Stop.” (Courtesy of Mike Maker Film)

Roll out the red carpet and set your celebrity sighting meters to full blast, the Dallas International Film Festival is finally here.

This year, the 11-day event features films both homegrown and from abroad as it hosts features both big and small.

The lineup is quite daunting and full of formidable features worth a view; however, to see them all would be impossible. 

Here are some of the festival’s best offerings:

1) “Pit Stop” – With a solid cast lead by Bill Heck and Amy Seimetz, “Pit Stop” is a heavy contender for festival favorite. 

Adding to its clout, it comes to us from former Dallasite Yen Tan, who directs the feature.

The film weaves in and out of separate story lines that touch on subjects ranging from substance abuse to sexuality.

Tackling such a broad story line takes grace and Tan has plenty of it.

2) “Mud” – Matthew McConaughey continues on his quest to serious actor status under the direction of Jeff Nichols in “Mud.”

McConaughey plays the film’s title character – a fugitive on the run who finds safety and solace from two teenage boys who help him avoid law enforcement and reunite him with his former fling.

Early reviews for McConaughey’s performance are flattering and with a cast that features the like of Sarah Paulson and Reese Witherspoon, how could you pass it up?

3) “He’s Way More Famous Than You” – Michael Urie, who you may know form his days on “Ugly Betty” or as an alum of Plano West High, directs this comedy-centered film that takes a satirical stab at the life of celebrities.

The thematic messages are conveyed through the life of Haley Feiffer, an up and coming indie actress whose life falls apart when she suddenly loses her career.

While early reviews have been less-than-favorable of Urie’s directorial outing, we’re giving him home field advantage.

An indie film looking further into indie film life?

Consider us incepted.

4) “The Sandlot” – Nostalgia-holics can get their fix when the DIFF showcases the 1993 film “The Sandlot” as part of the DIFF’s family at Klyde Warren Park.

It’s been 20 years since we’ve seen the likes of Scotty, Ham and Squints, so a screening under the stars is the perfect way to bring them back.

Considering that the film was released when most of us were still in diapers, you don’t have to have a family to bring the past.

Also, is there ever a bad time to hear “you’re killing me smalls!”

5) “Terms and Conditions May Apply” – On the documentary side of the festival, “Terms and Conditions May Apply” takes a look at the online privacy world, or lack there of.

The film draws its name from the lengthy text attached to free services on the web such as Google, Twitter and Facebook.
If you want to see a film that features an eye-opening subject that hits way too close to home, “Terms and Conditions May Apply” is a solid choice.

Also, be sure to check out two films from fellow SMUers “The Brass Teapot” from Erick Rommesmo (’09) and “Tomlinson Hill” directed by SMU Film professor, Lisa Kaselak.

For more information on DIFF, including film schedules and ticket information, visit 

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