DIFF is all in one place for its 12th year, making the weeklong-plus stretch at the beginning of May even more attractive. It all happens at The Magnolia in West Village. Read: no hopping up and down Central Expressway to the Angelika and back.
The first 12 films on the lineup just announced include a mix of world premieres, Texas premieres, and documentaries with a heavy focus on music. (There’ll be more than 110 selections from 25 countries, when all is told.) Opening night is Thursday, May 3, and reportedly a celebration “through the streets of West Village” will follow.
Narrative-wise, there’s an early thread of isolated male protagonists. Paul Schrader’s First Reformed follows Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke), a lonely, middle-aged parish pastor at a small 250-year-old Dutch Reform church in upstate New York. A world premiere of Tejano tells the story of a young man who smuggles drugs across the Texas-Mexico border to pay his grandfather’s medical bills. It’s the first feature directed by Austin’s David Garcia. The Iron Orchard will see its world premiere at DIFF; it’s the tale of Jim McNeely’s quest to become a wildcatter in the 1930s West Texas oilfields, directed by Ty Roberts.
The award-winning short film 1985 by Dallas-based director Yen Tan—about a closeted gay man who returns to his Texas hometown amid the surge of the AIDS crisis — has become a feature. It premiered at SXSW, gaining praise to follow the short’s abundant critical success.
Bone Thugs N Harmony, Korn’s Brian Welch, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Mr. Rogers all get the documentary treatment. And a Texas premiere of a re-envisioned Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich from Dallas-based Cinestate headlines the “Almost Midnight” category, making good on the brand’s promise to deliver more campy horror.
So far every single film is directed by a man and also centers one as its main character— except for Eighth Grade, about a 13-year-old girl in suburbia and her final week of middle school.
More to see at DIFF’s official website.