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Dallas Film today announced Capital One as the title sponsor in 2020 for the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF), and a supporting sponsor of the Veterans Institute for Film & Media (VIFM) and the Mercury One High School Film Labs. The partnership kicked off at the start of 2019, and after a successful year, the two organizations decided to collaborate again in 2020.

“Dallas is home to a thriving arts culture, which is critical to inspiring innovation and creativity,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, president, Financial Services, Capital One. “Capital One and Dallas Film share a passion for elevating our vibrant city as a world-renowned destination for creative thinkers and makers, so we are thrilled to continue this partnership.”

In 2019, more than 1,300 people registered for passes to attend DIFF (a record 20-percent increase), and it was the first film festival to introduce all-reserved seating in five auditoriums at two unique venues. VIFM expanded Film Basic Training Courses and added several Master Classes helping veterans pursue careers in film, TV and media production. At the conclusion of bi-monthly Mercury One High School Film students showcased their work at DIFF 2019. In addition, Dallas Film ran the first-ever North Texas Film Festival, which launched the expansion of educational and film initiatives in North Texas.

“We see the intersection of art, tech and commerce as vitally important to the growth of DFW and Texas, and we are designing our programs to help drive commerce to the metroplex,” said Johnathan Brownlee, CEO and president of Dallas Film/executive director of Dallas International Film Festival. “As we plan for 2020, we are excited to expand our services. We are thankful for the continued support of Capital One. Our mutual goal is to make the city a top destination for film, television and digital media production. By positioning Dallas as an entertainment, arts and cultural hub and embracing technological advancements, we can drive economic growth and make Dallas a prime location for producing and seeing films.”

Since its inception in 2006, Dallas Film established DIFF as an important stop on the international festival circuit, attracting quality films and talented filmmakers from all over the world. From April 16 to April 23, 2020, the festival will feature over 120 films from approximately 29 countries. Thousands of people will come together to attend screenings, outdoor concerts and festival-related activities in West Village, where the Capital One Filmmakers Lounge will host visiting celebrities and festival badge holders. As a result of the partnership, Dallas Film will bring more international filmmakers, celebrities and industry leaders to the Festival, resulting in greater educational and entertainment opportunities for people living in Greater Dallas.

“VIFM (a program of Dallas Film) exists to serve those who have so selflessly served us by providing a unique opportunity for American military veterans to explore and train for careers in the film and media production industry through education, mentorships, and job placements,” said Brownlee. “VIFM prepares them for jobs that provide meaningful, fulfilling work and can be performed in any city in any market around the world. Capital One shares a similar vision and is committed to hiring and helping to prepare transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses for new jobs. Their program – Military New Hire Transition – shares the same values as VIFM, helping veterans reintegrate into civilian societies and translate the skills earned serving in the military—including specialties and subspecialties—into civilian professional qualifications. With their help, the combination of our programs will make an impact on even more veterans.”

Dallas Film offers the Mercury One High School Film Labs series during the school year for high school students in North Texas who want to get hands-on experience with various aspects of film production. Dallas Film aligned the curriculum with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a more relevant classroom impact for Texas students and teachers. In the spring, students will have the opportunity to present their films during the DIFF Texas Student Showcase. College students attending North Texas area universities are also invited to submit their film projects for the annual College Shorts Showcase held during the annual Dallas International Film Festival powered by Capital One.

“The arts are a non-negotiable element in building thriving communities and businesses,” Yajnik said. “Through Capital One’s partnership with Dallas Film, we are bringing an increased focus to STEAM education, which will expand opportunities for our veterans, students and ultimately our broader population, to experience an even better quality of life.”

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