The Dallas International Film Festival begins this weekend with over 125 films scheduled at various theaters across town. In addition, seek some great panels and talk shows that will take place through the Festival.  The first weekend of the Festival, the Nasher Sculpture Center will be the central point for all panels with the brightest panelists offering their expertise and wisdom from top producers to actors who have become directors.  On April 21, the focus will shift to “Conversations With” the 2012 DIFF Honorees:  Laura Linney, Gabourey Sidibe, Glen Keane, Bernie Pollack and industry veteran Eric Pleskow.
The full line-up is as follows:

Saturday, April 14, 2012
Nasher Sculpture Center
Power Producers: Producing Outside the Box in the Digital Age presented by the Dallas Producers Association
Panelists: Claude Dal Farra (LIBERAL ARTS); Hans Ritter & Victoria Guenier (HELLO, I MUST BE GOING). Moderated by Russ Jolly.
Exactly who are the people responsible for taking a concept from script to screen…and what does it really take to get a film made? Find out from some of Hollywood’s hottest up and coming producers.

Screenwriting on the Next Level presented by the Austin Film Festival and the Dallas Screenwriters Association
Panelists: Bruce Feirstein; Peter Hedges; Michael Elliot.  Moderated by Maya Perez.
It seems that everyone in Hollywood has written a script…but what separates the top of the heap from the bottom of the pile?  And what does a successful screenwriter do to make the written page translate to the silver screen?  Learn tips of the trade from this panel sponsored by the Austin Film Festival and theDallas Screenwriters Association.

Actors as Directors
Panelists: Ryan O’ Nan (BROOKLYN BROTHERS BEAT THE BEST); Famke Janssen (X-MEN, BRINGING UP BOBBY); Nathan Zelner (THE KID THING). Moderated by Paul Salfen.
What drives an actor to work both in front of and behind the camera?  And what are the challenges involved with wearing both hats at the same time?

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Nasher Sculpture Center
Acquisition & New Distribution Models
Panelists: Keith Leopard (Millennium Entertainment); Doris Pfardrescher (Well Go USA Entertainment, President & head of acquisitions); Brian Cleveland and Jason Cleveland (Cinema Management Group)
With so many ways available for movie lovers to watch films without ever entering a theater, these panelists reveal how technology is changing the way movies are acquired and distributed.

Politics in Film and Its Influences 
Panelists: Karin Hayes (WE’RE NOT BROKE), Brian Malone & Cindy Malone (PATRIOCRACY).  Moderated by Jim Faulk (World Affairs Council)
Often couched as objective reporting, what begins as creating awareness can easily become promoting an agenda.  Discover what these filmmakers have to say about walking this fine line.

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Nasher Sculpture Center
A Conversation with Laura Linney
Moderated by Gary Cogill

A Conversation with Bernie Pollack and a Focus on Costume Design
Moderated by Gary Cogill

A Conversation with Eric Pleskow, the former president of United Artists and Orion Pictures
Moderated by John Hersker

Angelika Film Center
20th Anniversary Screening of ALADDIN and a Conversation with Texas Avery Honoree, Glen Keane
The Texas Avery Award presented by REEL FX honors the best and brightest of the animation industry.  This version of ALADDIN will be the first-time ever that this film will be screened in true high definition.

A Screening of PRECIOUS: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire and a Conversation with Dallas Shining Star Honoree, Gabourey Sidibe

Panels are free and open to pass holders first and then the public. Tickets for DIFF are currently on sale at the Prekindle Box Office in the Festival Village at Mockingbird Station at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 105.  To purchase tickets and passes, telephone the Prekindle Box Office at 972-707-0838 or visit:

Look for reviews and Festival coverage here at the A+C website beginning this weekend!