DALLAS, may 30, 2010: More than eight hundred Dallas schoolchildren had the rare opportunity to participate in a special street festival and private screening of the new film from Columbia Pictures, THE KARATE KID, organized by the DALLAS Film Society on May 27 at Cinemark 17 Theater. As part of its year-round educational programming, the DALLAS Film Society brought together youth from the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas “After School All-Stars” program, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the City of Dallas for an afternoon of activities highlighted by the appearances of Jackie Chan (“Mr. Han”), Jaden Smith (“Dre Parker”), and Will Smith.
“This has to be the very best After School All-Stars program we have ever dreamed of,” said Tanya Foster, president and CEO, DALLAS Film Society. “To be able to create a cultural event like this and to bus in more than 800 kids to see Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan and Will Smith ‘gettin’ jiggy with it’ at today’s celebration and screening was priceless. This event was the vision DALLAS Film Society staff members Lisa Stabler, director of education and outreach, and James Faust, artistic director, and they deserve tremendous credit for bringing their vision to life in such a colorful and dynamic way.”
Following their red carpet arrival, Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith received a “Kids Get Fit” Proclamation from the City of Dallas, presented by Council Member Delia Jasso, and a “YMCA Building Strong Kids” Award, presented by Gordon Echtenkamp, president and CEO, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. Proud father Will Smith took the stage to add his support for the film after signing autographs for kids in the audience.
Additional VIPs in attendance were Texas State Senator Royce West, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco, DALLAS Film Society chairman Michael Cain, and M3Films president and CEO Melina McKinnon Cain.
Other highlights of the street festival included face painting, a tattoo booth, martial arts exhibitions, arts and crafts, lion dances, music, pizza, and snow-cones.
Participating schools and youth organizations included: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Charles Rice Learning Center, Clara Oliver Elementary, Hampton Preparatory, IBOC Christian Academy, MLK Learning Center, Reed Middle School, and YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas.
Participating organizations and individuals included: Bring It On Productions, Carey Motor Coach, Cinemark 17 Theater, the City of Dallas, Columbia Pictures, DALLAS Film Society, Forté Public Relations, JK Wong Academy, KBFB-FM, KBFB-FM personality Rickey Smiley, Little Caesars Pizza, Moroch Entertainment, Sifu John Su, Sony, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, Wang School, and Your Enchanted Face.
In Columbia Pictures’ THE KARATE KID, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying – and the feeling is mutual – but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre’s feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts “the karate kid” on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.
THE KARATE KID opens nationwide on Friday, June 11, 2010.
ABOUT THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY
The DALLAS Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the DALLAS Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today’s world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual DALLAS International Film Festival is a presentation of the DALLAS Film Society. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city.
Upcoming events and programs of the DALLAS Film Society include the annual DALLAS Film Society/Dallas Museum of Art Summer Film Workshops for ages 14-18 (June 9-10, June 23-24, July 7-8, July 21-22); “Til Midnight at the Nasher” concert and film series (3rd Friday of every month May-September); DALLAS Film Society/The Dallas Opera film series at Studio Movie Grill on Royal Lane (3rd Mondays June-August); DALLAS Film Society/Dallas Museum of Art “Coastlines” film series (Thursdays July 15-August 12); DALLAS Film Society/SMU Film Camp for ages 14-18 (August 3-4); “The Art of Film” a new fundraising event co-chaired by Lynn and Allan McBee (Hall of State Building in Fair Park, Friday, November 19); and the 2011 DALLAS International Film Festival (March 31-April 10, 2011).
For more information, call (214) 720-0555, or visit www.dallasfilm.org. The offices of the DALLAS Film Society are located at 3625 North Hall Street, Suite 740, Dallas, TX 75219.