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AFI Announces First 15 Films


by Stephen Becker 3 Feb 2009

AFI Dallas International Film Festival has announced a list of 15 films that will play at the festival during its March 26-April 2 run. So far, documentaries seem to be where it’s at, as the festival will host the world premieres of One Nation, Playground and Rock Prophecies as well as the U.S. premieres of […]

CTA TBD

AFI Dallas International Film Festival has announced a list of 15 films that will play at the festival during its March 26-April 2 run. So far, documentaries seem to be where it’s at, as the festival will host the world premieres of One Nation, Playground and Rock Prophecies as well as the U.S. premieres of Food, Inc. and The Seven of Daran. Playground is produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney. Might one of them come to town to receive a Star Award this year as Helen Hunt and Charlize Theron did in 2008? We’ll see.

It’s also clear that the Michael Cain, et al’s trip to Park City, Utah, last month was worth the time, as three films that played Sundance – Art & Copy, Children of the Invention and Moon will also come to AFI. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead, which debuted at the Slamdance Festival, will also come to town.

Read on for a description of each of the films:

ART & COPY (USA)
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 (USA)
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 (USA)
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.

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