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2015 Dallas International Film Festival – April 9-19 … Ping!

April 12th, 2015 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Uncategorized · Wi-Fi


One of the first events I covered in a blog was a film festival. It had Wi-Fi, so I knew I was on to something. There have been a few since. Film festivals never disappoint. … So fun to shoot photographs of and interact with the experts who create the most poignant, artsy and entertaining works …


There was Sundance a few times … yes … that film festival is so Hollywood although it bills itself as Indy … Redford, Ben Bratt, Keanu, Snoop (when he was a dog and not a lion), Dillon & his entourage, Tilda Swinton, Wyclef Jean, Penn without Teller, even Jackie The Jokeman, etc., etc. Lots of star power, and you never know who you will see in the huge line at the only Starbucks in Park City.


Perhaps my favorite film blog moment was at SXSW Film, going deep with Matthew McConaughey and asking if he would follow up his “We Are Marshall” role by replacing Texas quarterback legend and assistant coach Major Applewhite, after a scandal broke. SXSW is always so interesting … but my goodness … having to contend with all those wannabe hipsters vexes me …


But … Most of my film festival hours have been spent in Big D. It is close. It is so accessible and easy to move around. The festival has changed names, but it continues to grow. It’s become an annual PingWi-Fi tradition.





So, I loaded my social media gear in the saddle bags of the Triumph yesterday, braved the motor madness that is I-30 and launched PingWi-fi coverage of The Dallas International Film Festival 2015.


At first glance, I think these films interest me most, but sometimes i just pop in on whatever is showing:



Welcome To Leith


Cartel Land


The Wolfpack

The Day West Shook Texas

Lone Star Holy War



“Batkid Begins” … hmmm … has perhaps the most powerful synapsis … but I don’t know if I can do popcorn to such a difficult topic. Of course, after seeing the fun team representing at the DIFF 15 red carpet, I also added “7 Chinese Brothers” to my film wish list this year.


Capps, Michael Cohn, Joseph Semense, Heather Born


You never know who you will see or meet at the red carpet events. Last night I ran into an old client. Everyone in Dallas/Fort Worth PR knows Ken Capps, who previously headed up the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport communications team, back when I was leading their PR agency team. Ha … Ken popped up at the festival a few years ago on the big screen, with a cameo in a great little documentary about Texas 6-man football. Last night the PR veteran was hosting the filmmakers representing both “Sacrifice” and The University of Texas film school. Yes … of course, Ken squeezed in some Hook ‘Em Horns gang signs into the event. (Well take this Ken … I got “Easy Rider” Peter Fonda to gesture the Texas Tech “Guns Up!” a few years back … I digress …)


I LOVE to shoot these things. Typically there are unannounced stars here and there. Sometimes stars say the darnedest things. Country singer/songwriter legend Jerry Jeff Walker “Mr. Bojangles” — at the Dallas festival — revealed to me in an interview that he has beautiful legs:)


For a news person or photographer the festival can be a few hours of getting into the craft of photo making, or journalism … and then (for me anyway) several hours of mad dashing around the Internet trying to figure out who all the people are – particularly the behind-the-camera-types on the carpet.


Jake Kuykendall, Seana Flanagan – “7 Chinese Brothers”

i must say, some of the talents and directors obviously do the red carpet out of duty … and sometimes it shows. Then other seem to just come alive and liven up the place and enjoy. Last night, I was taken by the fun interaction between Production Designer Jake Kuykendall and Producer Seana Flanagan as they laughed their way around the photo/interview gauntlet. (And now their images are blowing up my Facebook page …)


Lately, I have been shooting more and interviewing less. Who knows how long this mood will last. So I only threw out a few questions, but instead listened to the other interviews. Impressed. I heard the producer of “She’s The Best Thing In It” and some others specifically compliment the interviewing skills of two high school journalists covering the event — Katherine and Lexi from Dallas’ prestigious Hockaday. Good job.

Red Carpet Preparation, Alain Choquart “Ladygrey”


The red carpet events continue throughout the festival, running April 9 -19. Get out and see some films … and check the Wi-Fi at the various theaters for me. Typically the photo opps begin at 6 p.m., and just about anyone can get close enough to take a few selfies, although there is a roped-off area for the professionals … and The Ping.


Know what I sayin?