Happy New Year Festival Family! We finally made it to 2021, and we are kicking off the year right. We’re big movie buffs here at Festival Pass, so it’s always a delight to have someone on the inside who knows the biz. In this week's episode, we have the artistic director of one of the most exclusive film festivals in the country. It was our honor to start the year with professional film binge-watcher, James Faust.

James has been a part of the Dallas film scene for some time now. His love of movies has been the catalyst to not only his success but all of the film festivals that he has been involved in his career. A Red Raider through and through (despite his bio claiming he’s a Las Vegas Raiders fan), James acquired degrees in Theatre and Telecommunications at Texas Tech University. Later, he furthered his education in the arts by receiving a degree at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Cinema Studies. His determination and affection for storytelling has led to his ascent as a film professional and earned him recognition at the very best film festivals across the world.

“James Faust likes to rock and watch movies,” a fitting quote from his biography. James has been a speaker and served on many film festival juries. On average, James says that he watches about five films a day during the process of choosing movies for these events; his record is seven in one day! Analyzing films isn’t the only thing that James can do. He has also worked as a grip on classic television shows and movies like “Walker Texas Ranger” and “Armageddon”. James has been in attendance at Cannes, Toronto Film Festival, Sundance, and South by Southwest.

James is most known for his work and accomplishments at the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF). James started as DIFF’s (then called AFI Dallas) Senior Programmer, back when the festival first began in 2006. What makes the Dallas International Film Festival so unique, is the diversity of the films, and the support that it continues to get from volunteers and sponsors. DIFF has screened over 2000 films, with representation from over 50 countries. The festival hands out over $1,000,000 in prizes, so if your work is accepted, you can win money, camera packages, and the heat that comes with screening your art on a colossal stage.

Even during COVID, film festivals are events that can benefit from live streaming, and that’s exactly the direction that DIFF is taken. Unfortunately, film submissions are closed this year, but you can still enjoy the great movies by purchasing a ticket for June and watch films on their virtual cinema.

“The first couple years, it was incredible how we were building a new film community as they’ve done in Austin.” - James Faust

**Catch the interview on Festival Pass Stories! ** https://festivalpass.com/stories

**You can find James on: **

Twitter- https://twitter.com/jamesfaustDIFF

Dallas International Film Festival’s Website- https://dallasfilm.org/diff

Dallas International Film Festival’s Twitter- https://twitter.com/WeAreDallasFilm/

**Dallas International Film Festival’s Instagram- **https://www.instagram.com/WeAreDallasFilm/

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