Fort Worth film lovers traded their movie popcorn for martinis at a star-studded, Hollywood-style gala downtown on November 8. The Lone Star Film Festival Ball gathered more than 260 guests at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel for a glamorous night of food, libations, and celebrity appearances — all for a good cause.
It's the crown jewel event in the annual Lone Star Film Festival, which marked its 12th year in 2018.
Hosted by chairs Wesley and Christie Moncrief, this year's gala kicked off with an open bar and red-carpet cocktail hour, where guests were invited to snap photos with celebrities, filmmakers, and friends.
When ballroom doors opened, the stage was set for an introduction from the evening's emcee, actress Jeanine Bartel. Award-winning producer and director Josh Mills announced the Johnny Langdon Education Initiative — named for the late founder of the Lone Star Film Society — in an effort to expand the organization's educational outreach and initiatives. The presentation included an inspiring video showcasing children who have been impacted by Lone Star's programming.
Following the announcement, guests dined on a sumptuous three-course dinner of wedge salad, steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and decadent chocolate mousse for dessert.
While seated at the dinner table, attendees could bid fast and furiously for fabulous items in a live auction. Throughout the evening, the emcee also engaged guests with a film trivia game, where they interacted with cards at their place settings for the chance to win two All-Access Badges to the Lone Star Film Festival.
The presentations of prestigious awards were a highlight of the event. Top industry filmmaker Michael De Luca introduced and presented the 2018 Pioneer Award to internationally recognized writer, director, and producer Jeff Nichols.
The 2018 Stephen Bruton Award was presented to country music star Pat Green by radio talk-show host George Dunham. Green, who makes his home in Fort Worth and received the award for his contributions to country music, joins an exclusive coterie of past recipients that includes Lyle Lovett, Clint Black, and Willie Nelson.
It was only right that Green would return to the stage for an acoustic live performance.
Spotted having a great time at this year's gala were Jessica Spawn, Amy Creager, Holland Sanders, Karolam Ramirez, Nancy Lamb, Kendall Langdon Levy, Steve Murrin, Lane Garrison, Camille S. Chambers, Tricia Jenkins, Nathanael O'Reilly, Gregory A. Beck, Jason Smith, Christy Dunaway Smith, Carol Winn Dunaway, Jim Dunaway, Angelique De Luca, Clara Cantu, Samson Cantu, Atlee Marie Phillips, Catherine Coleman, and Victoria Wise.
In all, the evening raised nearly $220,000 in combined donations from ticket sales, live auction, and individual contributions — an increase of nearly 75 percent from 2017's gala funds raised. It all benefits the education outreach programming of the Lone Star Film Society.