Updated on May 12, 2020
One of the participants in Best of Fests is the Dallas International Film Festival. DIFF is one of the biggest film festivals in Texas that amassed an impressive list of films that have garnered international attention. Its 2019 run screened 129 movies from 24 countries and has been attended by over 15,000 film enthusiasts. DIFF Honorees included over the years include Charlize Theron, Luke Wilson, Fane Dunaway, and Adrien Brody to name a few. In 2019, DIFF presented Tejano. Directed by David Blue Garcia, it tells the story of a South Texas farm helper and his extreme measure to help his sick grandfather. The film earned a nomination at the 2018 Houston Film Critics Society awards for Best Texas Indie Film. For the Best of Fests 2020 run, DIFF will present Brotherhood, it is the movies’ 10th-anniversary screening written and directed by Will Canon. The film originally premiered in the 2010 SWSX Film Festival where it won the festival’s Audience Award.
Also participating in the Best of Fest 2020 in Oak Cliff Film Festival who was heralded by The New York Times as a new kid in the block, established in 2012, that will singlehandedly give the state “a burst of indie street credibility” with its goal of showcasing indie films. OCFF’s entry this year was a thriller 2019 movie titled Swallow directed by Carla Mirabella-Davis. It follows the story of Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife, and her compulsive desire to consume dangerous objects. This squirm-inducing psychological thriller has received positive reviews from film critics and holds a 90% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
Other highlights include the movie International Falls, an Amber McGinnis’s award-winning dark comedy presented by the Women Texas Film Festival. Starred by Rachel Harris, it tells a story of a woman stuck in a small, snowbound border town with dreams of being a stand-up comic. She then met a washed-up, burned-out comedian (played by Rob Huebel) who dreams of doing anything else but a comedian.
Best of Fests also accommodates different international festivals in the United States showcasing their countries’ film with English subtitles.
This year, DFW South Asian Film Festival presents Namdev Bhau In Search Of Silence, a 2019 Indian adventure/comedy film. A 65-year-old chauffeur, Namdev Bhau, is tired of the noises and chatter in the vibrant yet boisterous Mumbai City life. He decides to leave everything behind and start his journeys to the Himalayas for some peace and quiet in search of the “Silent Valley”. On his journey to the valley which is said to have almost a zero decibel sound level, he meets a 12-year-old boy at a bus stop who happens to be traveling alone to the mystical “Red Castle.” Namdev’s steadfast refusal to speak has a funny Chaplin approach but the final scene brings an unforeseeable twist.
Also highlighted was Czech movie Winter Flies, directed by Olmo Omerzu presented by the Czech That Film Festival. A 2018 drama movie, this is a journey of imaginative misadventure and coming-of-age self-discovery of two adolescent boys. Winter Flies was the selected Czech entry at the 91st Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Film category. The annual Czech film festival titled “Czech That Film” is a four-month-long festival and now is in its 9th edition. It is dedicated to raising the profile of current Czech films at an international level.
With 26 different film festivals screening 11 feature films and 25 short films in four days, many festivals joined forces and individually represented their programming aesthetic in one slot. Best of Fests calls this Combo 2 in which documentary and short films are blocked together.