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Filmmaker Chris Dowling and Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) Artistic Director James Faust

Dallas Film Launches INSIDE FILM Talk Series for High School Students

New high school education program debuted in January with filmmaker Chris Dowling

Dallas Film, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that annually presents the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF), has launched a new high school film education initiative, INSIDE FILM, a talk series featuring screenings and in-person conversations with industry insiders for students.

The inaugural INSIDE FILM High School Talk Series was sponsored by the American Journey Experience powered by Mercury One and hosted by the new Violet Crown Cinema in West Village.  The event featured a screening of the movie WHERE HOPE GROWS by filmmaker Chris Dowling, who wrote and directed the feature film. Following the screening, students engaged in a conversation with Dowling, moderated by DIFF Artistic Director James Faust. High school students in film programs affiliated with Dallas Film were invited to attend with their families and instructors at no charge.

Attendees also had the opportunity to see priceless film artifacts from the American Journey Experience Center. The display, curated by Mike Noriega, Education Coordinator of American Journey Experience, included such iconic items as ruby slippers from THE WIZARD OF OZ, Heart of the Ocean necklace from TITANIC, Golden Ticket from WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, helmet from CAPTAIN AMERICA, and fossil from JURASSIC PARK.

“It was a priority for us to start 2023 with a return to year-round educational programming,” said Beth Wilbins, CEO of Dallas Film. “The INSIDE FILM Talk Series, curated by our own James Faust, draws on his years of relationships with filmmakers around the world. We are uniquely positioned to give high school students first-hand access to insights from industry insiders that can help guide their path toward career success in film-related professions. 

“Since its founding in 2006, Dallas Film has been committed to creating educational experiences for students. Our mission is to be a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion through providing accessible, inclusive, immersive, educational, and entertaining experiences for all. It is our vision that, by promoting wide and thoughtful expression through film, we can help foster human connection and greater appreciation for our common humanity and our rich diversity.”

The Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) is the signature program of Dallas Film. Through curation of the broadest range of expression through film, DIFF is the region’s most powerful platform for diverse, emerging and underrepresented voices. Since its founding, DIFF has screened more than 2,000 widely diverse new films from 50 countries, provided more than $1.1 million in awards and hosted nearly 100,000 filmgoers and filmmakers.  

The Dallas International Film Festival 2023 is scheduled for April 28-May 5, 2023. Passes are now available at

Dallas Film is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established as Dallas Film Society in 2006 by people who believe passionately in the magic of film. Through a variety of screenings, educational programs, and festivals, Dallas Film raises awareness of the world’s most approachable and inclusive art form. For more information, visit, INSTAGRAM - @WeAreDallasFilm, FACEBOOK - @WeAreDallasFilm