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USA Film Festival announces the full schedule of events


The USA Film Festival announces the full schedule of events for the 41st Annual USA Film Festival, April 27 - May 1, 2011.  All programs will be held at the Angelika Film Center Dallas, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.  Advance tickets are available exclusively through Ticketmaster beginning Friday, April 15, 2011.

The program includes special TRIBUTES to the following performing artists:

Barry Corbin
William Fichtner
Malcolm McDowell
[Editors Note: For additional information on the Tribute programs, please see the attached PDF of the program schedule.]

The Festival also salutes film, television and theater actors David Hyde Pierce, Peter Riegert and Karen Young with new films The Perfect Host (David Hyde Pierce), White Irish Drinkers (Peter Riegert) and The Green (Karen Young).

"People always ask if there is a "theme" to this year's festival and we always say no, because our selections for the spring program are never theme-based.  We screen new and classic films, shorts and features, and create programs (tributes, compilations, etc.) based on what we think will be interesting and provocative for that particular year." said Ann Alexander, Managing Director for the year-round USA Film Festival.

"Still, every year, certain common threads tend to emerge.  This year, we take more than a few "road trips," an ever-popular film theme, and there is a definite "elegance" to the films featured.  Not elegance as meant in the fashion sense - although Cary Grant is certainly a style icon for the ages - but rather the elegance that comes from keen intelligence and self assurance.  Filmmakers, like Alfred Hitchcock who's supremely elegant To Catch a Thief opens the festival on its 55th anniversary, with a clear voice and steady hand who take the time to tell their story, each with their own unique sense of confidence and style.  Each of this year's writers, directors and performing artists share that aplomb, that elegance."

"From the enigmatic and memorable debut features by women writer/directors Massy Tadjedin (Last Night), Kathy Lindboe (NoNames), Caroline Bottaro (Queen to Play); debut films from writer/directors Nick Tomnay (The Perfect Host) and Sam Jaeger (Take Me Home), as well as director Steven Williford and writer Nick Marcarelli (The Green); to veteran filmmakers Tamar Hoffs' take-no-prisoners Pound of Flesh, Michael Winterbottom's glorious The Trip, Justin Chadwick's inspiring The First Grader, Harry Thomason's contemplative The Last Ride, and John Gray's stunning White Irish Drinkers, these are masterful filmmakers who don't need special effects or tricks to bewitch audiences into coming along with them.  Great writing, shooting and performances are more than enough to hold us elegantly in their thrall."

LIST OF PROGRAMS (chronologically)




On-stage conversation with Jennifer Grant, book-signing and 55th Anniversary screening of TO CATCH A THIEF (1956)

Wednesday, April 27 7:00pm

The sweeping vistas of the Riviera pale next to the sight of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly falling in love in this sprightly heist movie.  Grant stars as reformed cat-burglar John Robie, who comes out of retirement when a new jewel thief goes to work using his signature style of thievery. Kelly plays Frances, a proper debutante who discovers that larceny is an aphrodisiac - a theme Hitchcock would pursue more explicitly in Marnie - and tests Robie's resolve by throwing herself, and her priceless jewels, at him. With glorious costume design by Edith Head, a hilarious supporting turn by Jessie Royce Landis as Kelly's mother (she would play Grant's mother in Hitchcock's North by Northwest four years later) and unforgettable fireworks (both literal and figurative), To Catch a Thief remains one of the most charming and exciting films from the Master of Suspense. 106 mins.  The program will be hosted by historian and author Foster Hirsch.

Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant

Good Stuff is an enchanting portrait of the profound and loving relationship between a daughter and her father, who just happens to be one of America's most iconic male movie stars.  Jennifer Grant was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in history. Her first acting role was in Aaron Spelling's Beverly Hills, 90210, and she later appeared in Friends, Super Dave, and CSI, as well as several feature films. She lives with her son, Cary Benjamin, in Beverly Hills.

              Complimentary copies of Jennifer Grant's book, Good Stuff, will be distributed (limited supply).


Wednesday, April 27 7:30pm

Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce) is the consummate host.  He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30pm.  John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) is a career criminal. He's just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets.  He finds himself on Warwick's doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who's been mugged and lost his luggage.  As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we discover just how deceiving appearances can be.  Co-writer/director Nick Tomnay's dark-hearted comedy/drama is full of outrageous moments and suspenseful twists.  Audiences may never look at David Hyde Pierce the same way again after seeing this slippery psychological thriller that reveals just how far we're willing to go to satisfy our needs.  Also featuring Nathaniel Parker, Helen Reddy, Megahn Perry, Joseph Will and Tyrees Allen. 93 mins.  David Hyde Pierce and writer/director Nick Tomnay in attendance.


Emmy and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce made his professional and Broadway debut in 1982 as the waiter in Christopher Durang's "Beyond Therapy."  He went on to create roles in the off-Broadway productions of Mark O'Donnell's "That's it Folks!," Richard Greenberg's "The Author's Voice" and "The Maderati," Harry Kondoleon's "Zero Positive" and Jules Feiffer's "Elliot Loves" before returning to Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein's "The Heidi Chronicles."  In 2005 he originated the role of Sir Robin in the Broadway production of "Monty Python's Spamalot" for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.  In 2007 he won the Tony Award and earned another Drama Desk Award nomination for his role as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in the musical comedy "Curtains," before going on to appear in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of the 1930's comedy "Accent on Youth," and most recently, in the acclaimed London and Broadway production of David Hirson's "La Bete. "  In addition to his work in new plays, Mr. Pierce has also appeared in numerous repertory theater across the country.  Mr. Pierce's film credits include Bright Lights, Big City, Crossing Delancey, Little Man Tate, Sleepless in Seattle, Wolf, Nixon, Isn't She Great, Wet, Hot, American Summer, Full Frontal, Down With Love, A Bug's Life, Osmosis Jones, Treasure Planet and The Perfect Host. His television credits include Norman Lear's political satire "The Powers That Be" and "Frasier," for which he earned four Emmy Awards and the American Comedy, Television Critics, Viewers for Quality Television and Screen Actors Guild Awards.


Thursday, April 28 7:00pm

Based on the tragic final days of legendary country crooner Hank Williams, The Last Ride stars Henry Thomas (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Legends of the Fall) as country music star Luke Wells and Jesse James as Silas, the young man hired to drive him from Alabama to a New Year's Eve concert in Canton, Ohio, circa 1952. But there's a catch to young Silas' seemingly simple job: he has to not only get Wells there on time, but sober enough to perform -- a task easier said than done.  Wells not only has a penchant for drinking, fighting, and general hard living, he's as haunted as he is talented, fighting against a chronic disease and determination to self-destruct. Two men from disparate backgrounds form an unlikely bond over the course of a fateful journey. Also featuring Kaley Cuoco, Fred Dalton Thompson, Stephen Tobolowsky and Ray McKinnon. 103 mins.

Director Harry Thomason, producer/composer Benjy Gaither in attendance.

Award-winning British film director Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo, 24 Hour Party People) turns his talents towards foodies and improvised comedy with this sublimely hilarious tale that sees veteran comedic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing "loose versions" of themselves as they embark on a week long road trip across the North of England, visiting top restaurants for a series of reviews, exploring the countryside, and getting on each others nerves. The latter is manifest via witty impersonation face-offs (Brydon is a master impressionist) including a Michael Caine riff that is laugh-out-loud hilarious and a Sean Connery/James Bond "martini" parley that is sheer genius.  In between their misadventures, Steve struggles with his faltering relationship with his girlfriend and his stagnating Hollywood career, while Rob, miserable git that he is, enjoys being a happily married father. A cheeky combination of fact and (mostly) fiction with stunning views of England's Lake District, Lancashire, and the Yorkshire Dales, The Trip is destined to be devoured by smart audiences everywhere. 111 mins.


Thursday, April 28 7:15pm

Struggling would-be photographer Thom (Parenthood and Eli Stone's Sam Jaeger) is at the end of his rope: he's been turned down for a job for the umpteenth time, evicted from his apartment, and reduced to living in the illegal taxi cab that he uses to make ends meet during times like this.  High-strung executive Claire (Amber Jaeger) is also having a bad day after catching her husband making a pass at his new secretary and learning that her estranged father has suffered a massive heart attack. Partially out of necessity and largely out of desperation, she offers Thom several thousand dollars to drive her from New York to California, embarking on a journey that forces them both to do some serious self-evaluation and make some life-altering decisions. Funny, endearing, and uncompromising, writer-director Sam Jaeger's dramedy is a road trip worth the trip. Also featuring Victor Garber, Lin Shaye, Christine Rose and  Bree Turner. 97 mins.  Sam Jaeger and producer Jane Kosek in attendance.


Friday, April 29 7:00pm

Writer/director Massy Tadjedin's sexy and evocative debut feature is set in New York City -- the story of a married couple that, while apart for one night, are each confronted by temptation that may decide the fate of their marriage. Joanna (Keira Knightley) and Michael Reed (Sam Worthington) are seven years into a successful and happy relationship.  They are moving along in their lives together until Joanna meets Laura (Eva Mendes) at a party, the stunningly beautiful work colleague whom Michael never mentioned.  While Michael is away with Laura on a business trip, Joanna runs into an old but never quite forgotten love, Alex (Guillaume Canet) and agrees to have drinks with him.  As the night progresses and temptation increases for the couple, each must confront who they are inside and outside of their relationship.  Last Night is ultimately a film about choices - the choice you make to be with someone, to give yourself physically and emotionally, and how to survive all three. 93 mins.  Filmmakers in attendance (pending).


The feature film will be preceded by a film clip compilation Tribute honoring Barry Corbin

Friday, April 29 7:00pm

Writer/director Kathy Lindboe's haunting feature debut drama is based on a true story about a young man, Kevin (James Badge Dale, Rubicon) and his relationships -- with the town he loves, his fractured family, his girlfriend (Gillian Jacobs, Community), his life-long friends -- and trying to find his place in a dying town with two bars, a cemetery and a mill that is closing.  This sharply observed film captures the free-wheeling 70s, fueled by drugs and alcohol, and the aimlessness and desperation brought about by hopelessness.  Dogged by unsettled scores, it becomes clear that Kevin must leave the town he loves if he is to save himself. Barry Corbin is Ed, Kevin's boss and long-time family friend who tries to counsel him out of a potentially volatile situation. 103 mins.  Kathy Lindboe, Barry Corbin and other cast/crew in attendance.


The feature film will be preceded by a film clip compilation Tribute honoring Malcolm McDowell

Friday, April 29 7:00pm

Barden College's most revered professor, Noah Melville (Malcolm McDowell) teaches the idyllic school's most popular Shakespeare class. His family, his students, and (most of) his colleagues adore him, yet few of them are aware of his extracurricular enterprise: Between lectures, the professor facilitates an escort service staffed by some of the gorgeous coeds, who finance their tuition through this unorthodox "scholarship" program.  When the corpse of a young woman is discovered near campus, Melville's complicated world begins to crumble as driven police sergeant Rebecca Ferraro (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and troubled detective Patrick Kelly (Angus Macfadyen) begin closing in.  Writer/director Tamar Hoffs' provocative, satirical, twist-driven thriller isn't afraid to push to, and sail over, the edge - tongue in cheek all the way. Also featuring great performances by Timothy Bottoms, Dee Wallace and a cast of young stars including Whitney Able (Monsters). 94 mins. Tamar Hoffs and Malcolm McDowell in attendance.


Friday, April 29 9:30pm

A witty adaptation of the novel by cult-favorite science fiction author Philip K. Dick (whose works have been the basis for the movies Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, and many others) by writer-director John Alan Simon. Set in an alternate reality circa the 1980s, it tells the story of Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe), who begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles, where he becomes a successful music company executive. Along with his best friend, science-fiction writer Phil (Shea Whigham), and a mysterious woman named Silvia (Alanis Morissette), Nick finds himself drawn into a dangerous political-mystical conspiracy of cosmic proportions as they attempt to overthrow the fascist president (Scott Wilson) of a dystopian United States. Combining generous amounts of paranoia, social commentary, and genre-bending speculative fiction, Radio Free Albemuth is a film-lovers delight and a PKD fan's dream come true. 119 mins.  Writer/director John Alan Simon and actress/producer Elizabeth Karr  in attendance.


Texas Filmmakers Showcase

Friday, April 29 9:45pm

At first glance, Emily (Natalie Dickinson) is a typical 20-something, but she's anything but.  For her, the line between reality and imagination has drastically begun to blur.  Constant paranoia and a feeling of being followed have led to her being institutionalized.  Emily insists that she and four other girls were kidnapped and held prisoner by a unknown masked assailant who tormented them for days before she alone managed to escape. Now she finds herself trapped between what is real, and what may be real, as her doctors tell her one thing, and her mind tells her another as she struggles to find the truth.  Written and directed by Robert Paschall, Jr. and shot in Dallas with a great local cast.  92 mins.  Bobby Paschall, cast and crew in attendance.


Friday, April 29 9:15pm

This collection of dark comedic and dramatic short films feature some of life's messiest and most unexpected moments.  Included are TJ Thyne's RUN; Tom Lenk and Tara Karsian make a connection in the indescribably outrageous HELLO CALLER; a neurotic LA woman (Alex Dawson) challenges the sanity of her shrink (Stephen Tobolowsky) in CLARA'S CARMA; animated mayhem ensues in ENRIQUE WRECKS THE WORLD featuring a terrible chain reaction; and Fran Krause's NOSY BEAR takes on hunters and guns; TIME FREAK explores why you shouldn't do it over again even if you could; THE INTERVIEW shows how to get a job in a post-apocalyptic world; love and greed collide in SWEET SWEET BABY; life's unpredictable choices unfold in BEFORE WE GET TO SEATTLE; and a stunning double betrayal in HOW IT ENDED, featuring Debra Winger, Larry Pine and Halley Feiffer.  82 mins.  Filmmakers in attendance.


Texas Filmmakers Showcase


Group A - Saturday, April 30 5:00pm

Group B - Saturday, April 30 7:00pm

Group C - Saturday, April 30  9:00pm

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 48 Hour Film Project's 2011 World Tour kicks off in Dallas this year with three dozen filmmaking teams competing for prizes and bragging rights. Dallas is one of 80 cities worldwide participating in the Project's expanded tour, with a record 3,200 filmmaking teams worldwide expected to take part in the planet's largest timed filmmaking competition.  The finished films will be screened during the Festival on Saturday, April 30th, and the Awards program will take place on Sunday, May 1st.  The race weekend takes place April 15-17.  Each team will be given a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue to incorporate into their film.  Filmmakers supply the inspiration, adrenaline and caffeine needed to accomplish a completed work (between 4-7 minutes in length) in 48 hours.  The audience selects its favorite and a local panel of film professionals will select the Best Film and other category award winners.  For registration and other information, please visit


Saturday, April 30  5:00pm

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Kline and French star Sandrine Bonnaire star in this stylish, sophisticated comedy-drama set on the picturesque Mediterranean isle of Corsica. Bonnaire stars as Helene, an attractive, intelligent and very repressed chambermaid who discovers a latent love for the game of chess after witnessing a leisurely sexy match between a vacationing couple (Jennifer Beals and Dominic Gould).  Obsessed with the game (to the chagrin of her husband and daughter) she begins taking secret tutelage in its finer points from another of her cleaning clients, an expatriate American doctor (Kline) living in isolation, resulting in a series of events that radically transform both their lackluster lives.  Based on the novel "The Chess Player" by Bertina Heinrichs, Queen to Play marks the auspicious debut of French director and screenwriter Caroline Bottaro with one of the year's most utterly charming films.  96 mins.


Saturday, April 30  5:00pm

What if your child had a rare genetic defect -- one that if left unchecked, would take their life prematurely? Tisha Blood's intimate film follows the amazing Torey Harrah and two other young girls with craniofacial anomalies over the course of 10 years through dozens of surgeries, introducing us to their families and the medical professionals who become part of their extended family.  Recent medical advances are saving the lives of children born with Apert Syndrome, and Dr. Jeffrey Fearon and his team at Medical City Dallas are at the forefront of those advances.  The Festival is proud to salute Jeff Fearon and his team for their commitment to craniofacial research and treatment on behalf of children everywhere.  94 mins.  Tisha Blood, Torey Harrah and other guests in attendance.


The feature film will be preceded by a film clip compilation Tribute honoring William Fichtner

Saturday, April 30  7:00pm

If you missed this outrageously over the top movie in theaters, now's your second chance to experience its gleefully self-obsessed wonders with one of the screen's greatest hoodlums -- William Fichtner.  Drive Angry stars Nicolas Cage as John Milton, a dead man who escapes from Hell (in a Buick Riviera, no less) to seek vengeance on the self-styled Satanic messiah (Billy Burke), who brutally murdered his daughter, before he can sacrifice Milton's infant granddaughter during the next full moon.  Along the way, Milton acquires a plucky sidekick (Amber Heard) and are in turn pursued by a mysterious infernal bounty hunter known as The Accountant (USAFF honoree William Fichtner).  Shoot-outs, fist-fights, car chases, explosions, nudity, one-liners, and special effects ensue. A throwback to the good ol' days of grindhouse cinema, Drive Angry offers a tongue-in-cheek good time, with no holds barred and no apologies offered.  104 mins.  William Fichtner in attendance. The tribute program will be introduced by producer Garry Brown.


Saturday, April 30  7:30pm

Having left behind the concrete and steel jungle of New York City for the idyllic shores of Connecticut, high school drama teacher Michael Gavin (Jason Butler Harner) enjoys a quieter domestic existence with his partner, Daniel (Cheyenne Jackson), living by a simple, unspoken code: don't speak up, don't make trouble. His hard-earned peace is turned upside down when he is accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior with one of his high school students. The boy runs away from home, leaving his recovering addict mother (the fantastic Karen Young) and her mercenary boyfriend (Bill Sage in another great performance) to capitalize on the alleged affair. In the wake of it all, Michael fights a lonely battle against the suspicions, mistrust, and latent homophobia of his friends and neighbors, as well as an ugly secret from his past.  The top notch cast also features Julia Ormond and Illeana Douglas.  91 mins.  Director Steven Williford, writer Paul Marcarelli ("The Verizon Guy"), Karen Young and other cast in attendance.


Texas Filmmakers Showcase Saturday, April 30  9:30pm

Filmmaker Joe Alexandre's short film about the notorious Starck Club screened at the USAFF two years ago on the occasion of the landmark's club's 25th anniversary.  The screening was wildly popular and Joe collected even more interviews and footage, so that now the project is a feature film filled with all the material that could not be included in the short work.  Aside from being ground zero for the popularization of the designer drug MDMA (legal at the time), the Starck Club was so much more.  Philippe Starck is now a world renowned designer, but prior to the Dallas club, he was an up and coming Parisian designer who was virtually unknown outside of France.  After the club, he went on to design the Hotel Royalton in New York as well as the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.   Warriors of the Discotheque explores the legacy and influence the Starck Club has had on everything from design, music, and fashion to acceptance and tolerance of different sexual orientations. Incorporating interviews with those that were there including former employees, managers, performers, and key influential patrons, the party that was 1984 in Dallas lives on. 89 mins. Writer/director Joseph Alexandre in attendance.


Saturday, April 30  9:45pm

In 2009, filmmaker Justin Malone and producer Lior Spirer followed the Atlanta-based band Gringo Star (Nick and Peter Furgiuele, Peter DeLorenzo and Matt McCalvin) on a six week journey through fourteen countries as they embarked on a tour of Europe. Playing at large and lavish venues each night, the shows attracted hundreds of eager new fans, and the positive vibe is everywhere.  Energized by this newfound exposure, sleeping on park benches and showering with cologne each day is part of the deal, and the headliners boast of Gringo Star's determination and talent.  Success is just around the corner, but the stand-offish music scene they encounter in the UK leaves them with smaller audiences and fading hopes.  Playing tiny clubs with no promotion that draw miniscule crowds proves to be the true test of drive for success.  A raw behind-thescenes look at what it takes to make a name for one's self in the dog-eat-dog world of rock and roll, Hurry Up and Wait is a must see for Gringo fans and music lovers in general. 78 mins. Director/Editor Justin Malone, producer Lior Spirer and Gringo Star (Nick and Peter Furgiuele, Peter DeLorenzo and Matt McCalvin) in attendance.


Sunday, May 1  7:15pm

Set in a mountain village in Kenya, Director Justin Chadwick and screenwriter Ann Peacock present the remarkable and uplifting true story of an Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an 84-year-old farmer and veteran of the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s who decided to go to school when the country introduced universal education. A man who has suffered a lifetime of loss and degradation, Maruge is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write by enrolling in a class populated by six-year-olds.  The school's authorities are reluctant to admit Maruge, partly due to limited resources, but also partly due to tribal rivalries that continue to haunt the young nation.  Moved by Maruge's unyielding determination to learn, young teacher Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris) becomes his ally in a fight to overcome threats, bureaucratic red tape and the burdens of the colonial past.  A stirring tale of dignity, survival, and reconciliation, Chadwick's film is certain to stir the hearts of viewers. 103 mins.  Justin Chadwick and producer Richard Harding in attendance.


Sunday, May 1  7:00pm

It's early autumn of 1975 in Brooklyn and 18-year-old Brian Leary (Nick Thurston) is killing time in his mostly Irish neighborhood, pulling off petty crimes with his street tough older brother Danny (Geoff Wigdor), whom he both idolizes and fears.  He doesn't really want to be a criminal, but he doesn't share the dreams of his friends from their working class neighborhood either. They all yearn for socially acceptable 9-to-5 civil service jobs with benefit packages that will carry them through weekends of boozing it up until retirement rolls around. A talented self-taught artist, Brian escapes his frustrations and the never-ending shouting matches between his hot-tempered father (Stephen Lang) and world-weary mother (Karen Allen) by putting on headphones and painting in the basement.  Even though Brian's best bet is an offer to attend a prestigious art school and escape a dead-end future, he doesn't want to betray his blue-collar roots by accepting a scholarship to college. Peter Riegert is Brian's boss at the local movie theater,  trying to make ends meet with one big Rolling Stones concert. A stirring coming-of age drama with great resonance, White Irish Drinkers boasts terrific writing and a remarkable cast of established veterans and up-and coming young actors.  109 mins. Writer/director John Gray and Peter Riegert in attendance.


Peter Riegert has been acting, writing, directing and producing for the past 40 years.  His movies include National Lampoon's Animal House, Local Hero, Crossing Delancey, Chilly Scenes of Winter, Coldblooded, Utz, Oscar, Passed Away, The Mask, Traffic, and the short film The Response, which received the ABA Silver Gavel and was short listed for an Academy nomination for live-action short. Television credits include "The Sopranos," "Gypsy," "Barbarians at the Gate," "Concealed Enemies," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Damages." On Broadway he was in "The Old Neighborhood," "An American Daughter," "The  Nerd" and "Dance With Me." His Off-Broadway credits include "Sexual Perversity in  Chicago," "The Birthday Party," "Mountain Language," "Isn't It Romantic" and "A Rosen  By Any Other Name."  His directorial film debut was the Academy Award-nominated short By Courier, which was followed by his first feature, King of the Corner, starring Isabella Rossellini, Eli Wallach, Rita Moreno, Beverly D'Angelo, Eric Bogosian and Dominic Chianese.  He is currently preparing to shoot his next feature, based on the novel "A Field of Darkness" by Cornelia Read.


Sunday, May 1  7:30pm

Join our National Jurors for announcements and screening presentations of this year's (33rd Annual National Short film & Video Competition) winning films as well as the winners announcements for the 48 Hour Film Project. Awards are given to the best in Animation, Fiction, Non-Fiction and Experimental categories as well as awards for Texas ties, student achievement, and more.  Meet the First Prize Winners (who are notified the day prior and flown to Dallas for the show) as he or she presents the winning entries and receives the cash awards. USAFF prize winners who were recognized early in their careers include Alexander Payne, Todd Haynes, Jessica Yu, Wes Anderson, Bill Plympton, Michael Almereyda, John Lasseter, and many more. The USAFF is an Academy-qualified program and many films recognized here have gone on to be nominated for the Academy Award.  Recent Competition-winning films that were qualified for Academy consideration include 2007s Academy Award winner West Bank Story and 2010s nominated Kavi.


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