AFI Dallas Announces Its First 15 Films

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Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel in Gigantic, which premiered in Toronto last year and screens this year at AFI Dallas
The AFI Dallas International Film Festival just released its first list of films selected for this year's shindig, which runs March 26 through April 2 -- with, as noted last month, most of the screenings taking place at the AMC NorthPark. Among the offerings are three world-premiere docs, a Zooey Deschanel romantic comedy picked up in Toronto, an acclaimed 2008 Sundancer, Kevin Spacey and Sam Rockwell going to the Moon with David Bowie's son as director, a George Clooney-Steven Soderbergh-produced documentary about human trafficking and an oddball offering starring the Karate Kid. The full release follows. But is too soon to hope the She in She & Him might be coming to the festival? No, no it's not.

2009 AFI DALLAS International Film Festival Presented by NorthPark Center, Founding Sponsor Victory Park Announces Fifteen Titles in Official Selections

FILMS INCLUDE THREE WORLD PREMIERES AND THREE U.S. PREMIERES

Dallas, TX, February 3, 2009--AFI DALLAS 2009 International Film Festival Presented by NorthPark Center, Founding Sponsor Victory Park announces fifteen films that will screen at this year's festival (March 26 - April 2) including the World Premieres of the documentaries ONE NATION, PLAYGROUND and ROCK PROPHECIES as well as the U.S. Premieres of FOOD, INC., GIGANTIC and THE SEVEN OF DARAN.

The three world premiere documentaries include:

Justin Wilson's ONE NATION - the film utilizes a pastiche of images and sounds to create an artful profile of the year, 1968. The film examines the struggles of power vs. protest, affluence vs. poverty, and human rights vs. the tyranny of want and ignorance.

Libby Spears's PLAYGROUND - Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney, the film follows a young woman and other children like her, who are victims of the American child sex trafficking industry. Examining America's legal and social system, the film delicately and responsibly details our country's most alarming, insidious secret.

John Chester's ROCK PROPHECIES - The film is a backstage pass into the eccentric world of rock n' roll from the vantage point of an obsessed photographer, Robert M. Knight, who at 18 years old captured and befriended Jimi Hendrix and the members of Led Zeppelin, well before they became the iconic stars we know them as today.

Among the U.S. premieres are:

Robert Keener's FOOD, INC. - The documentary takes a look at food preparation, industrialized and otherwise for the mass population, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, the USDA and FDA.

Matt Aselton's GIGANTIC - Starring Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, John Goodman, Jane Alexander, Edward Asner, the offbeat comedy is centered around a mattress salesman who wants to adopt a Chinese baby, and a young woman he meets at his store. Together, they negotiate their increasing intimacy, and the appearances of their many eccentric relatives, as Brian awaits the call from the adoption agency.

Lourens Blok's THE SEVEN OF DARAN - Children's tale follows an English boy on an African adventure with the help of a talking giraffe and a precious medallion.

AFI DALLAS also announces two films that recently played at the Sundance Film Festival that will screen for Dallas audiences for the first time at the festival - ART & COPY, CHILDREN OF INVENTION and MOON, as well as ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE UNDEAD, which just debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival.

"These initial 15 selections are indicative of the exciting variety of films we will offer Dallas audiences with this year's programming. They represent accomplished directors, including Guillermo Arriaga and Doug Pray, compelling subjects, and both provocative and entertaining work," said Michael Cain, AFI DALLAS Artistic Director.

The fifteen announced selections include:

ART & COPY (U.S.A.)

Director: Doug Pray

Documentary explores the creation of the modern advertising industry, the people behind it, and its influence on popular culture.

THE BURNING PLAIN (U.S.A.)

Director: Guillermo Arriaga

Cast: Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger

A drama with employs multiple storylines featuring a mother and daughter who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.

CHILDREN OF INVENTION (USA)

Director: Tze Chun

Cast: Cindy Chung, Michael Chen, Crystal Chiu

Drama follows a Chinese American family as they struggle to achieve the American Dream in suburban Boston.

FOOD, INC. (Canada)

Director: Robert Kenner

Documentary takes a look at food preparation, industrialized and otherwise for the mass population.

GIGANTIC (U.S.A.)

Director: Matt Aselton

Cast: Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, John Goodman, Jane Alexander, Ed Asner

Comedy is centered around a mattress salesman and a young woman he meets at his store.

HUNGER (United Kingdom)

Director: Steve McQueen

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham, Liam McMahon

Drama takes a harrowing look at the last six weeks in the life of imprisoned Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands.

MOON (United Kingdom)

Director: Duncan Jones

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey

Drama follows the lone occupant of a lunar mining base as he prepares to return to earth and his life at home.

ONE NATION (USA)

Director: Justin Wilson

Documentary provides an artful look at 1968 through a pastiche of images from that year.

PLAYGROUND (USA)

Director: Libby Spears

Executive Producers: Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney

Documentary explores the rampant worldwide child sex trafficking industry.

RIP A REMIX MANIFESTO (Canada)

Director: Brett Gaylor

Documentary looks at the changing landscape of music in The Internet Age focusing on the line between musical inspiration and copyright infringement.

ROCK PROPHECIES (USA)

Director: John Chester

The documentary is a backstage pass into the eccentric world of rock n' roll from the vantage point of an obsessed photographer, Robert M. Knight, who at 18 years old captured and befriended Jimi Hendrix and the members of Led Zeppelin, well before they became the iconic stars we know them as today.

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE UNDEAD (USA)

Director: Jordan Galland

Cast: Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, Ralph Macchio, Jeremy Sisto

Comedy about a theater director who finds himself in the middle of a two thousand year old conspiracy involving Shakespeare, the Holy Grail and vampires.

THE SEVEN OF DARAN (USA)

Director: Lourens Blok

Cast: Jonathan Harmse, Ketrice Maitisa, Caroline Goodall

Children's tale follows an English boy on an African adventure with the help of a talking giraffe and a precious medallion.

SKIN (UK/South Africa)

Director: Anthony Fabian

Cast: Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, Alice Krige

Set in 1955 and based on a true story, the film looks at the social and personal impact on two white Afikaner parents and their daughter in rural South Africa, after the girl is born with dark skin.

SUGAR (USA)

Director: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Cast: Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino

Drama about a Dominican baseball star that is signed to a minor league contract.

AFI DALLAS 2009 will run March 26 - April 2, 2009. Passes go on sale February 6, Tickets go on sale March 2. Passes and tickets will be made available via online, phone (214.720.0663), and in person at the Box Office located at the AFI DALLAS locations at NorthPark Center and Victory Park.


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