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Deep Ellum Film Festival wrapped

Deep Ellum Film Festival has been showing more than 75 feature films, documentaries, and shorts to be presented at its sixth annual gathering Wednesday, October. 14 through Thursday, October 21st, in Dallas (Deep Ellum) Texas.

The fiercely independent festival has opened with the Texas Premiere of Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, directed by Bill Condon; The Dallas Premiere Imaginary Heroes starring Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams; The Texas Premiere of Ong Bak directed by Prachya Pinkaew and starring Phanom Yeeram; Tarnation director Jonathan Caouette stirring self portrait documentary, The 10th Anniversary Screening of Love and a 45 starring Renee Zellwenger, Rory Cochrane, Peter Fonda, directed by C.M.Talkington, followed on Saturday with the World Premiere of 95 Miles to Go, an intimate look at Ray Romano's eight-day drive through America's South on his stand-up comedy tour directed by Emmy Award Winner Tom Caltabiano, The Texas Premiere of Undertow starring Jamie Bell, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney and directed by David Gordon Green.
Other films to be highlighted include the Texas Premiere of the hilarious dark comedy, Eulogy, starring Ray Romano, Hank Azaria, Debra Winger, Kelly Preston, directed by Michael Clancy; the Texas Premiere of director Antoine Fuqua’s Lightning in A Bottle, the record of an amazing evening at Radio City Music Hall in 2003, when a host of artists paid tribute to the blues, the Dallas Premiere of P.S. starring Laura Linney and Topher Grace, directed by Dylan Kidd , the Dallas Premiere of The Portrait of Billy Joe which documents the fascinating life of Texas songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver by director Luciana Pedraza and producer Robert Duvall, and The Texas Premiere of End of the Century, The Story of the Ramones among others.
“We have worked hard to create a line up in 2004 that celebrates the filmmaker and reflects the fabric of our times – challenging, diverse, and passionate" said festival Founder and Director Michael Cain. We celebrate the experienced and always challenging voices of those who have lead the way along with the brave new voices who are re-inventing the world of independent film. This festival is unique in that it also chooses to carry with it the additional responsibility of raising funds and awareness for cancer relief.

The annual 2004 Pioneer Filmmaker Award will be presented to legendary filmmaker Robert Duvall for his incredible work as an award winning actor, director and producer who has helped define excellence in theater, television and cinema. The Second Annual Trailblazer Award will be presented to Todd Wagner, co-owner and Chief Executive Officer of 2929 Entertainment and founder of the Todd Wagner Foundation. Wagner created 2929 Entertainment to leverage his expertise in digital technology and his passion for the entertainment business and is assembling an entertainment empire which owns Rysher Entertainment, Landmark Theaters, and Magnolia Pictures Distribution and an interest in Lions Gate Entertainment. The Third Annual Maverick Filmmaker Award will be presented to a legend of independent film, Allison Anders. Anders’ has used her own experiences to make grittily realistic, well-observed, gently ambling studies of women coming of age amid tough, sterile social conditions in films such as Mi Vida Loca and Gas, Food and Lodging. DEFMAN’s 3rd Texas Filmmaker Award will go to Richardson, Texas’ own multiple award winning writer, director David Gordon Green whose unique powerful voice broke on the scene in 2000 with the disturbing George Washington and whose next project is to bring the Best Selling Novel, The Confederacy of Dunces to the silver screen.

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There are three new awards this year: The First Point of View Emerging Vision Award presented to director Jonathan Caouette whose spellbinding debut, Tarnation, re-imagines the whole idea of what a documentary can be and announces the arrival of an exceptional new cinematic visionary. The Persistence of Vision Award for Short Form Directing, presented to Dallas commercial filmmaker Jeff Bednarz, whose award winning visuals and charismatic directing style have elevated him to being one of the top commercial directors in America. Local award winning artist Arthur “Artman” James will be presented DEFMAN’s Persistence of Vision Award for Artistic Expression for his incredible body of work and tireless efforts in helping define both Deep Ellum and Dallas’s artistic fabric.

Other festival participants include Jeremy Coon, producer of Napoleon Dynamite, first time director Janine Turner, actors Andrew McCarthy, Lou Diamond Phillips, director Carty Talkington, Dennis Bishop, and LM Kit Carson.

The seven day festival offers a stimulating line-up of workshops, seminars and special programs featuring key film professionals including •First Films: Lessons Learned, A Case Study• SAG presents Actor’s Dialogue • The Music Documentary • Distributing Your Film-The True Story • Sound& Vision tell their• Filmmakers talk to Children, How to first story •The Children’s Miracle Project and more.

Music is synonymous with Deep Ellum and music is always an important part of the Deep Ellum Film Festival. Several films have musical tie-in’s including Lightning in a Bottle, Argue With A Tree: Blue October Live in Concert, End of the Century, The Story of the Ramones, Portrait of Billy Joe and more added daily.

Musicians scheduled to perform at festival events include Billy Joe Shaver, Diamondback, Rain and others.

Featured Artists and shows include an exhibit of Tom Caltabiano’s behind the scenes photography which chronicles the 8 year phenomenon "Everybody Loves Raymond", a showcase of Arthur James’s posters and artwork created largely for the Deep Ellum Film Festival and an exhibit of Tango photography.

Just one block from Downtown Dallas, with a century-old tradition as the “Heartbeat of the Dallas Art scene," the neighborhood of Deep Ellum is the cornerstone of the re-emergence of Down town Dallas as a center for the arts and culture.

With last years’ festival often boasting sell-outs, visitors planning to attend in 2004 are advised to purchase festival passes and tickets now.


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