Film with Preston Hollow ties to kick off Dallas International Film Festival spring preview weekend

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in Cha Cha Real Smooth

Dallas Film has announced the dates for its first spring Dallas International Film Festival preview weekend, April 29 through May 1, at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars. The preview weekend, which organizers say “sets the stage for the entire Dallas International Film Festival this fall,” will kick off with the buzzy-as-heck Cha Cha real smooth, a film whose neighborhood ties are quite close. Hailing from the Preston Hollow area and graduating from Greenhill School, Cooper Raiff wrote and directed the film, and he stars in it alongside powerful women including Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann.

Participants will be able to attend the dramatic comedy Cha Cha Friday evening April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Raiff’s first film, a sentimental semi-autobiographical coming of age titled Shitwas supposed to make its DIFF debut in 2020, according to festival organizers, but it all got derailed due to the coronavirus.

Earlier in 2020, Shit won first prize at the SXSW Film Festival.

Raiff had made an early version of the film with his college buddies and had tweeted a link to one of the famous Duplass brothers, Jay (the one from Transparent), who loved it and helped Raiff launch a career that’s been going really, really well these days. Apple TV bought a few months ago Cha Cha real smooth for $15 million.

Organizers of the spring event say the weekend will provide a chance to return to theaters and find out how we’ve changed our movie-watching habits over the past two years.

“It’s a precursor to our full celebration of film this fall, when we can share art that North Texans might not otherwise be exposed to, and do so with illuminating context and participation from the filmmakers themselves. . It’s the popcorn, it’s the people, and it’s the perfect complement – ​​great programming,” said Scott Eustace, chairman of the Dallas Film Board of Directors. “We’re excited to give moviegoers a reason to hit the theaters.”

Other films in the lineup include Happening, Jazz Fest: A History of New Orleans, Corsicana and bad ax.

DIFF Artistic Director James Faust added, “Spring Preview films span the gamut of indie filmmaker genres, some of which are from Dallas. The artistic process involved in creating a captivating cinematic event is rewarding as we go beyond the box office to understand and explore the artistic process poured into each film. It will be a moving weekend of cinema.

Tickets for individual film screenings for the DIFF 2022 Spring Preview Weekend are available at or at the box office at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars. Additionally, Dallas moviegoers can purchase DIFF Star Passes and DIFF Early Bird Passes for a special price during the spring preview. Information about attending, sponsoring or submitting for the Dallas International Film Festival this fall is also available at

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