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By Film Threat Staff | November 10, 2001

The Deep Ellum Film Festival is proud to open with the Texas Premiere of “Lantana,” directed by Ray Lawrence. The fest will present more than 100 feature films, documentaries, and shorts to be presented at its third annual gathering Wednesday, November 14-18 in Dallas (Deep Ellum) Texas. Other films to be highlighted include “In the Bedroom,” directed by Todd Field starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl and Marisa Tomei, The Business of Strangers directed by Patrick Stettner, starring Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles, “The Dinner Rush,” winner of the St. Louis International Film Festival, starring Danny Aiello and Vivian Wu. Guillermo del Toro’s film “The Devil’s Backbone” will be the festival’s Closing Night Film on November 18th.
“Last year we challenged those who loved independent film to join us and help nurture and shape DE/F2’s growth”, said Executive Director Michael Cain. “This year we had over 75 Texas entries with over 50 from Dallas. We are proud to celebrate some of the best up and coming filmmakers the Lone Star State has seen in years.”
The annual 2001 Pioneer Filmmaker Award will be presented to legendary filmmaker Penelope Spheeris. Lou Diamond Phillips will present Ms. Spheeris the award and four of her films will be screened as part of her retrospective. Her latest Hi-Definition Cinematic groundbreaker “We Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll” and “The Decline of Western Civilization, Parts I, II, III.” 2001 will mark the presentation of DE/F2’s first Texas Filmmaker Award to Bill Paxton. Other festival participants include Cinematographer Bill Butler, Producers David Blocker, Tom Huckabee and “Frailty” Star Matt O’Leary and Director Reginald Hudlin.
The four-day festival offers a stimulating line-up of Hi-Definition workshops sponsored by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s new production company 2929 Productions and HD Net and the Texas Association of Film and Tape Operators. These workshops will include seminars on 24p and 1080i lighting, shooting and post-production, as well as, examples on conversions from Hi-Def to 35 mm.
This year DE/F2 will have two special presentations: Black Cinema and Shakespeare. Director Reginald Hudlin will be present at the screening of Boomerang and his debut film, House Party. The Shakespeare Festival of the Dallas Guild has sponsored two films this year in an effort to expose the independent film community to the cinematic side of Shakespeare, the original West Side Story, starring Natalie Wood and Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V.
Music is synonymous with Deep Ellum and this year the North Texas New Music Festival will be held over the same five nights in this bohemian arts neighborhood. Over 100 bands will perform in 12 venues and will be complemented by DE/F2’s music video competition on the rooftops of local juke joints. Musicians scheduled to perform at film festival events include Sugarbomb at the Opening Night Party, Dale Watson at the Texas Filmmaker Salute and The Havana Boys at the Closing Night Party.
Just six blocks from Downtown Dallas, this hidden sanctuary for artists and eclectics will be the center of the universe for lovers of independent film and music.
For a complete listing of festival events and ticket information, call 214-752-6759 or visit the official Deep Ellum Film Festival website.
Check out’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!

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