Yesterday marked the start of the annual Dallas International Film Festival, and I was there for opening night.
The event was held at the Winspear Opera House, complete with a red carpet entrance and plenty of media. The dress code was black tie optional, which surprised me because I don’t necessarily expect indie filmmaker types to be black tie kind of people. Being at the opera house, I think the venue itself automatically calls for a spiffy getup.
Once the event finally got underway, Ann-Margret was honored with a Star Award for her contributions to the film industry. Her introduction to the stage included a montage of clips from her starring roles in Viva Las Vegas, Bye Bye Birdie and The Cincinnati Kid. She appears in Lucky in this year’s film festival. Fun fact: Ann-Margret has a gospel album out and a second one on the way.
Liener Temerlin, founder of the Dallas Film Society, was also recognized. He was presented with a video that ran like a who’s who of Dallas’s social elite. Think former President George W. Bush and dad George H.W. Bush. In the video, his friends spoke of his talent, attitude and humor.
After an hour-and-a-half of speeches, it was finally time to watch the opening night film, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. The movie is a documentary about Kevin Clash, the man behind the Muppet. The move was cute. I found myself laughing a lot, just because it was so damn cute. But the ending left a lot to be desired. It felt like we got to know Kevin in a work environment, much like you know the guy in your office who sits two rows down who you sometimes lunch with in the break room. It was like that. You get to know Kevin at a respectable distance.
Leaving the opera house, guests were given eco-friendly party bags stuffed with random swag, like a light bulb, a pocket knife and some kind of glass mug.
Looking forward to my next DIFF stop: the Magnolia for Lavoe, The Untold Story.