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Dallas Kicks Off DIFF14 … Red Carpet With 50-1 Underdog!

April 4th, 2014 · Tags:Arts · Cities


DIFF14 Group

Lights. Camera. AK-SHONE! It is one of our favorite seasons, kicking off The 2014 Dallas International Film Festival, despite northern parts of the Metroplex getting pounded by strong winds and hail. The Dallas evening was picture perfect.


Wow! Dallas has changed so much since we began covering this annual event. The opening night red carpet was presented outside the bright/shiny Dallas City Performance Hall … just up the street from the impressive Meyerson, near the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Arts District off Pearl and Flora … a stone’s throw away from the Klyde Warren Park over the freeway. Nice job, Big D! (I will have to do some more Wi-Fi snooping …)


Speaking of the improvements to Downtown D, the president of Downtown Dallas Inc., John Crawford joined the film stars on the red carpet, so I took the opportunity to joke about the old rivalry between Fort Worth (an awesome downtown too) and Dallas. “Dallas is great, but faithful to Fort Worth and the legend of Amon G. Carter, I brought a sack lunch … rather than spend ANY money in Dallas,” I quipped. Crawford was a good sport and laughed along … adding that today there is much more of a spirit of cooperation between the two great cities.


Being such the Fort Worth guy in Dallas, I d-near lost my car in the parking garage, despite taking photos of the space number and floor number. Popping up from the underground concrete cavern, I hit Flora street, looking for the event. I saw a camera man, with headphones and figured he was the odds favorite to lead me to the carpet. I followed …


I’ll be … the guy turned and started filming. Ha … I thought he was shooting me, until he turned, walked right past me and filmed the guy walking beside me. I deduced the other guy was famous. I looked him over … and did not know him … but could see he was “probably somebody.” Later, I met him and interviewed the guy on the red carpet.


“Biker Dude”



The guy was Christian Kane … appearing at DIFF14 just in time for the Texas launch of a new film about horse racing — an underdog tale … or maybe “underhorse” – “50 To 1.” Chris-K represented in a casual hot rod t-shirt, ball cap and motorcycle boots. We of course talked motorcycles, and he told me about his new first love, a vintage Italian Moto Guzzi he is restoring.   In 50-1, he rides a Harley … and a horese. I digress …


We talked about the film on camera, and in typical PingWi-Fi fashion, the audio is pretty dismal, inspite of acquiring yet another new microphone. Oh well … apologies for that. (Thank goodness still photos don’t have sound … what a stupid comment … can’t believe I said that.)





Briefly, we got to meet Emma Fuhrmann and hear her firsthand account of working with comic genius/crazy man Adam Sandler.


And then there was this one actress — Texas girl Alisha Revel — who spotted my camera focused on her. Rather than your typical glamour, red carpet shot, she shot me a “high sign” (I think it is called) … you know the thing the Little Rascals did where they put their hand by their throat and waved, awkwardly. Pretty funny.




When Ms. Revel entered my airspace on the red carpet gauntlet, I pushed for more and I flashed her the secret sign of the Junior Birdmen … where you invert your forearms, make a loop with your index finger and thumb, and hold your hands to your eyes to make a mask. Pretty complicated, this time-honored tradition …


But — what a nut! — she flashed it right back and now that photo is quite the hit on my Facebook wall.


It was good to see Gary Cogill on the red carpet now as a filmmaker … the former, long-time film critic at Dallas’ ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.,


Oh and speaking of timely, we chatted with Dallas actress Farah White. She is in several films at this year’s festival, including “Flutter.” Timely, because yesterday afternoon before the event, I screened “Flutter” thanks to the Dallas PR team for the film, through the magic of Vimeo and the all important password — over at the balcony worldwide headquarters of PingWi-Fi.


Farah, Alisha


“Flutter” … a delightfully quirky film, up for bragging rights in the festival’s Texas division, all about a young boy with glaucoma. Anyone who has ever listened to reggae man Peter Tosh knows there is only one cure for it. (Hint … if you are afflicted you might want to move to California, Washington or Colorado.) The film is exceptional at creating a world of the most meager, “white trash” surroundings, and one woman’s ability to rise above that to provide love, care, happiness and special brownies for her son. There’s also some animated surprises mixed in here and there. Highly recommended.


Yes … I asked Farah if she was carrying “medicine” with her … but she showed me inside her purse. No brownies …




Fred Schepisi (no relation to celebrity chef Rory, I don’t think) director of “Words And Pictures” was there in his trademark fedora, and it was really cool to meet Jim Wilson and Faith Conroy who collaborated on “Dances With Wolves” and now are promoting, their latest, what I called “A Rudy With Horses” (“50 To One”). The team is touring the country to promote the film in a wrapped vehicle. (Been there, done that …)  Road trip! (


Jim, Faith “50 To 1”

Hugo Perez

Ha … and now the daunting task of trying to identify all the people in the photos …


Just one day done at the festival. Loving it!


Know what I sayin?