AFI Dallas Film Festival Announces 15 Official Selections

     February 3, 2009

Written by Nicole Pedersen

Yesterday we posted a list of the films that would be in competition at the 22nd annual SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Not to be outdone, today another of Texas‘ film festivals (surprisingly they do have more than two), The American Film Institute Dallas Film Festival, has announced fifteen of the selections that they will feature when the festival kicks off on March 26th.

A good deal of these films will look familiar to you if, like me, you are a connoisseur of official festival selection lists. Once again, Sundance favorite “Moon” has made the cut along with “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead”, a horror-comedy which premiered at the Slamdance festival last month.

Among the premieres at AFI Dallas are three world-premiere documentaries and three films that will make their US premieres during the festival’s eight day run from March 26th through April 2nd. Here’s the fifteen films that AFI has confirmed so far:


Director: Doug Pray

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


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.


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) US Premiere

Director: Robert Kenner

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


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) World Premiere

Director: Justin Wilson

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

PLAYGROUND (USA) World Premiere

Director: Libby Spears

Executive Producers: Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney

Documentary explores the rampant worldwide child sex trafficking industry.


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.


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..


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.


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.


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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