By MCN Editor

The Dallas Film Society Announces Efforts to Promote Social Change through the Love of Film at the 2011 DALLAS International Film Festival

Press Release

Dallas, TX, March 24, 2011 – The 2011 DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Cadillac has announced the festival intends to raise awareness of social issues and promote the need for change through a series of panels, new awards and partnerships with health organizations.

For the first time in the festival’s five-year history, a three-part panel discussion entitled FilmMatters presented by Earthbound Farm, Spire and M3 Films, supported by The Embrey Human Rights Program and co-produced by Stephen Nemeth and Susan Thomson has been curated to specifically engage, educate and inspire an audience to support film as a means to facilitate social action. Over two days, national experts from the film, media and communications fields will participate in three panels called “WHY?”, “WHAT?” and “HOW?”. Upon the culmination of the discussions, audience members will have a comprehensive idea on why a film should be made about a cause and how to develop a strategic plan for taking it into the market place. Melina McKinnon, producer of FilmMatters and CEO of M3 Films LLC comments: “An important element of all film festivals is to provide opportunities to educate an audience, in order to develop a better understanding of the role of film in today’s world and panel discussions are a prime opportunity to have this educational experience. Now especially is the time as people are consistently looking for meaning in their projects as they become more and more socially conscious. We are delighted to be included in this prestigious Film Festival and thank Artistic Director James Faust for working with us to bring in non profit leaders, educators, philanthropists and filmmakers from around the world. We are so fortunate to have an incredible group of panelists to impart their knowledge with our audience. I encourage anyone interested in making a difference to take time out of their busy lives and learn how to communicate their cause with the world.”

FilmMatters presented by Earthbound Farm, M3 Films and Spire supported by The Embrey Human Rights Program will take place in the DALLAS IFF Festival Lounge, 1608 Main Street 75201. The line-up is as follows:

Film Matters Panel #1 – WHY? Saturday, April 2 – 11:00 AM
Theme:WHY make a movie about your cause? What are your GOALS? (Ex. to encourage political action, engender compassion, raise funds, create brand awareness, entertain, etc.)
Moderator: James Chippendale
James Chippendale is founder and CEO of the prominent CSI Entertainment Insurance
as well as a cancer survivor and co-founder of the progressive Love Hope Strength Foundation, an organization that has profoundly broadened the reach of cancer awareness through concerts, film, and the arts.
Brigid McConville: Award-winning author, journalist, and human rights advocate. Her recent focus has been to expose and seek change for the worldwide injustices of maternal mortality.
Tony Fay:Sports and events Communications, notably acting as the Director of Communications for the Dallas Mavericks, and serving as the VP of Communications for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.
Oscar Torres: Award-winning filmmaker highlighting the complexity of survival in violent areas of Central and South America.
Kerri Briggs: Director for Education Reform at the George W. Bush Institute
Leslie Bradshaw:Producer THE GREATER GOOD

Film Matters Panel #2 – WHAT? Saturday, April 2 – 1:00 PM
Theme: WHAT kind of movie are you going to make (Ex. Documentary, Biopic, Narrative)? Do you need to utilize known TALENT? What kind of AUDIENCE are you trying to reach? Do you understand how to effectively ENGAGE with your intended audience?
Moderator: Anne Bothwell
Anne Bothwell is the director of KERA’s Art&Seek, advocating for local artists, and the socially- enriching importance of community-based arts and involvement.
Sahara Byrne: Assistant professor of Communications at Cornell University
Judith Helfand: Co-Founder of Chicken & Egg. Filmmaker, activist and educator. Brian Malone: Five-time Emmy Award winner, Producer/Director/Editor and Composer
Lauren Embrey:The President of the Embrey Family Foundation and CEO of Embrey Interests, Ltd.
Kathryn Lo:Director, Program Development, Independent Film & PBS [Plus]

Film Matters Panel #3 – HOW? Sunday, April 3 – 3:00 PM
Theme:WHAT funding options should you pursue? What distribution partners should you consider?
Moderator: Stephen Nemeth
Stephen Nemeth is founder and CEO of Rhino Films. For Rhino, he has produced films including FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE and DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS. The Hollywood Reporter named him one of the “Top Ten Most Prolific Producers in Hollywood”.
Tom Stephenson: CEO and VP for the board of Rave Motion Pictures
Noah Hutton: Award-winning documentary filmmaker, making films with a message.
Judith Vecchione:PBS Executive Director
Keith Maitland: Director/producer of THE EYES OF ME

Saturday April 2nd at the DALLAS IFF will be Heart, Hope, Healing Day: an H3 Celebration. Presented by Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital in partnership with the American Heart Association’s GO RED FOR WOMEN campaign and MISSION LIFE BALANCE® will be present at all the festival venues throughout the day to encourage audiences to get a glucose and cholesterol health screening. Nancy Vish, President of Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital comments: “Presenting our H3 Celebration on the first Saturday of DALLAS IFF is a wonderful way of reminding Dallas of the importance of health screenings. In exchange for the check up, every person will receive a DALLAS IFF screening voucher worth $10 and furthermore, if anyone wears red that day they will receive $2 off a same day ticket or free entry from the rush line. So it just makes sense: feel better AND get to see a movie for free!” Additionally, the first 200 people to donate $5 to the American Heart Association GO RED FOR WOMEN at the Baylor health screening locations will receive a free DALLAS IFF film screening voucher.

An unforgettable party and fashion show hosted by designer Abi Ferrin will continue the celebration that evening at 9PM at South Side on Lamar. Abi Ferrin Fashion Rewind: A Reinterpretation of Hollywood Fashion Icons will bring even more glamour and panache to DALLAS IFF as she transforms friends of the festival into fashion icons from old Hollywood. Tickets are available for $75 with the proceeds from this event benefitting the American Heart Association’s GO RED FOR WOMEN campaign and the Dallas Film Society. For more details go to

Another way that DALLAS IFF is working to keep awareness of social issues alive is by introducing a new award to this year’s festival: The Silver Heart Award. Lauren Embrey, a panelist in FILM MATTERS has been instrumental in bringing this award to Dallas.The Silver Heart Award will be bestowed on an individual or film for their dedication to fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity. The winner of the Silver Heart Award will receive a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Embrey Family Foundation. “The Embrey Family Foundation is dedicated to building better lives,” said Lauren Embrey. ”We actively look to support programs that advance human rights, healthy communities, education and artistic creativity. There is a natural synergy with the Foundation’s mission and honoring a film or filmmaker for addressing socially conscious issues in their work, so we are thrilled to be involved with the DALLAS International Film Festival in this way.” Nine films will be competing for the Silver Heart Award. The winner will be announced at the DALLAS Film Society Honors on April 8.

Finally, James Chippendale and Noah Hutton, two other FilmMatters panelists are bringing their compelling documentary MORE TO LIVE FOR to Dallas. It features the lives of three extraordinary men who are searching for a bone marrow match to save their lives. This is the first film of its kind where the audience can participate in a life-saving mission immediately after the screening. Testing to be in the International Bone Marrow Registry involves merely a swab of one’s cheek, and the filmmakers will be doing this on-site after every screening of the film. New registrants can potentially save someone’s life after being tested and matching a patient in need. This is a small act that can make a world of difference. New registrants from the DALLAS IFF can be tracked through the registry, which means that next year the festival will be able to announce the number of lives saved from these drives.

The DALLAS International Film Festival will run March 31 – April 10, 2011. Passes and tickets are currently on sale: available via online (, phone (214.782.9168 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              214.782.9168      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              214.782.9168      end_of_the_skype_highlighting) and in person at the FAUXCADES Box Office: 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Ste 100, Dallas.

The DALLAS Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the DALLAS Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today’s world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual DALLAS International Film Festival, scheduled for March 31-April 10, 2011, is a presentation of the DALLAS Film Society. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city. For more information, call (214) 720-0555, orvisit The offices of the DALLAS Film Society are located at 3625 North Hall Street, Suite 740, Dallas, TX 75219.

2011 DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Cadillac – Festival Sponsors: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, AVID, Barefoot Wine, Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital, Bright Realty, Inc., CBS Radio, Colibri Promotions, D Magazine, Dallas Film Commission, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Observer, Design Expediting Services International, Inc., eatZi’s Market & Bakery, El Creative, Euforia Live, Faulkner Design Group, Fauxcades Creative Event Design, Forté Public Relations, Fun Flicks Outdoor Movies, Gordon& The Whale, GrandLuxe Magazine, Highland Park Village Theatre, Joule, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Mahr Images, MetroPCS, Metroplex Cadillac Dealers, Milagro Tequila, Mission Foods, Mockingbird Station, Modern Luxury Dallas, MODIA Home Theater Store, Movie Magic, MPS Studios Dallas, Nasher Sculpture Center, Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center, Post Asylum, Pure Evil Music & Sound Design, Raze Media, REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT, Red Carpet Crash, Screen International, smartwater, Stella Artois, SYNTHETIC PICTURES, Target, Texas Association of Film Commissions, Texas Film Commission, The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky, The Shops at Legacy, The Texas Theatre, The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, Time Warner Cable, TM Advertising, TXU Energy, Univision 23, West Village, WFAA-TV, Whole Foods Market, WRR Classical 101.1 FM, You Plus Dallas.

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and global expansion. The Metroplex Cadillac Dealers are comprised of eight dealerships throughout North Texas, committed to supporting the artistic talent and achievements in performance and visual arts within the community. More information on Cadillac and their affiliation with the Arts can be found at

Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital (Baylor Hamilton) was the first hospital in North Texas dedicated solely to the care and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. The 64-bed Baylor Hamilton was recognized in 2010 for having the nation’s lowest readmission rate for heart failure patients for the second consecutive year and continues to receive a five star rating by HealthGrades, a leading independent health care rating organization. For more information about Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital,

Mission Foods, headquartered in Irving (Dallas area), Texas and Gruma S.A.B. de C.V., a Mexican corporation, was founded in 1949, and is one of the largest tortilla manufacturers in the United States. Gruma S.A. de C.V. is the parent company of Mission Foods (Gruma Corporation) and is a leading Mexican producer of corn masa flour and tortilla products. It has operations in Mexico, the United States, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit

Go Red For Women is part of the American Heart Association’s solution to help save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer, which is largely preventable., a premiere source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into lifesaving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.

Abi Ferrin is an award-winning fashion designer whose mission and purpose is to empower women to feel and look their best through her line that retails nationally as well as through one-of-a-kind red carpet designs. Abi ignites awareness of global issues through the brand mission Freedom + Purpose. Many elements of the Abi Ferrin collection are made by women who were rescued from the sex trade in Nepal and Cambodia. These rescue organizations counsel, train and shelter the women, while also providing alternatives to abusive employment. Brand sales provide a steady stream of income to these women as a hand-crafted element is crafted by them for every garment made in the USA.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon