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Wes Anderson's THE FRENCH DISPATCH Wes Anderson's THE FRENCH DISPATCH is the Opening Night Headliner of the 2021 Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF).

Known for being one of the most filmmaker-friendly film festivals in the world, the Dallas International Film Festival is back in-person for the first time since 2019.  The three-day festival will take place October 8 - 10 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Cedars (1005 Botham Jean Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215).

“This version of the festival will be a little different,” said James Faust, DIFF Artistic Director, “but DIFF 2021 is still focused on sharing great stories, creating conversations, and building community through empathy that can only be delivered by the theatrical experience. Although DIFF 2021 is shorter than in the past, the selected films make this one of DIFF’s strongest in history.”

“It’s been a tough year-and-a-half for arts organizations across the globe, and DIFF is no exception,” said Scott Eustace, Chairman of the Board for Dallas Film.  “We were disappointed to cancel the 2020 festival and are excited to be screening some amazing films this year, many of which are by Texas filmmakers. We are implementing a process in an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy and are looking forward to next April when we will resume a full week of programming and events.”

Opening Night Headliner

Wes Anderson’s THE FRENCH DISPATCH (Searchlight Pictures) with an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Adrien Brody, Toheeb Jimoh, Willem Dafoe, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Benicio Del Toro, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and more.

Saturday Night Headliners

PUPPY LOVE – Michael Maxxis (Director) and stars Hopper Penn and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone are scheduled to attend for the film’s first in-person screening.  PUPPY LOVE is a wild film about a brain-damaged dishwasher and homeless prostitute brought together through obscene circumstances.

BELFAST (Focus Features) – TIFF People’s Choice Winner, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench. 

Curation of this year’s program from more than 1,500 submissions was once again led by Faust and his team, who focused on films with Dallas ties and stories that lean into social justice and empowerment narratives. Many of the filmmakers are scheduled to attend.

SING A BIT OF HARMONY (FUNimation) will close the 2021 festival with its U.S. Premiere on Sunday, October 10. 

MARK, MARY & SOME OTHER PEOPLE – Producers Kelly Williams and Jonathan Duffy are scheduled to attend for this comedy about newlyweds who reluctantly decide to give ethical non-monogamy a try as their lives get increasingly complicated. 

NO FUTURE – Produced by Kelly Williams and Jonathan Duffy (scheduled to attend, along with producer Lisa Normand), filmed in Fort Worth and starring Rosa Salazar and Catherine Keener.  Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot write and direct this drama about a recovering addict who returns home and starts a secret and volatile affair with his friend’s grieving mother. 

THE BLAZING WORLD – Carlson Young (Writer and Director) stars alongside Vinessa Shaw and Dermot Mulroney in this fantasy/comedy.  Carlson Young and composer Isom Innis (Foster the People) are scheduled to attend.

KUFI KREW – A documentary about founding the first Muslim fraternity in the U.S. filmed in Dallas and at UTD.  Directors Wheeler Sparks and Dylan Hollingsworth are scheduled to attend. 

CAGED BIRDS – Filmed in Dallas by SMU Film School graduate Fredrick Leach (scheduled to attend).  Jordan Lucas is an affluent high school student counting down the days until he can escape and attend the college of his dreams, Princeton.  Jordan’s cousin, EJ, is humiliated by a white bully.  Jordan, EJ and Kevonte plot revenge by pulling a robbery prank on the bully, when the prank goes bad.

CAT DADDIES – A heartwarming, family documentary by Mye Hoang, an SMU graduate, who is scheduled to attend.

HIVE – Winner of Sundance Audience and Directing Award and Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema – A beautiful film about Fahrije, whose husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo and who must find a way to support her family against a society that does not support her.

THE FIRST STEP – Van Jones attempts to pass a landmark criminal justice bill. 

JOCKEY – An aging jockey aims for a final championship, when a rookie rider arrives claiming to be his son.

The full DIFF 2021 program can be found at 

The red carpet will be held daily at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Cedars. Times and talent will be released shortly.

To purchase passes and tickets, please visit

The DIFF 2021 high school film selections will be chosen and presented at a future DIFF event to accommodate multiple public and private school event attendance policies. Details will be posted on when available.

“Dallas Film is excited to welcome audiences back to the movie theatre,” Faust added. “We are following local and CDC public health recommendations and guidelines. Guests will be asked to wear a mask upon arrival at the venue and while watching movies unless enjoying food and beverages. Dallas Film staff and volunteers and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema employees will wear masks at all times.

“I spent months away from movie theatres, but never lost my passion for watching great films.  I’ve anticipated this moment for more than 18 months. It’s an honor to develop a program for an in-person film festival in Dallas.” 

About Dallas Film  

Dallas Film (, established as Dallas Film Society in 2006, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to celebrate the past, present and future of film in our community. The organization provides leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television, and digital media. Through a variety of screenings, educational programs, and festivals, Dallas Film raises awareness of the world’s most approachable and inclusive art form.

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