By Brian Brooks | Indiewire February 3, 2009 at 7:37AM
A group of world and U.S. premieres were unveiled by the AFI Dallas Film Festival, including the world debut of docs "One Nation," "Playground" and "Rock Prophecies" as well as the U.S. debuts of "Food, Inc.," "Gigantic," and "The Seven of Daran" during the event taking place March 26 - April 2. Festival favorites from the past year, including Steve McQueen's "Hunger" (UK), Brett Gaylor's "RIP: A Remix Manifesto," Anthony Fabian's "Skin," (UK/South Africa) and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's "Sugar" (U.S.).
Tze Chun's "Children of Invention," Doug Pray's "Art & Copy," and Duncan Jones' "Moon" from Sundance '09 are included in the festival's fifteen selections announced Tuesday.
"These initial 15 selections are indicative of the exciting variety of films we will offer Dallas audiences with this year's programming," commented Michael Cain, AFI Dallas artistic director in a statement. "They represent accomplished directors, including Guillermo Arriaga and Doug Pray, compelling subjects, and both provocative and entertaining work."
Fifteen selected titles with descriptions provided by AFI Dallas:
"Art & Copy," directed by Doug Pray (USA)
Documentary explores the creation of the modern advertising industry, the people behind it, and its influence on popular culture.
"The Burning Plain," directed by Guillermo Arriaga (USA)
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," directed by Tze Chun (USA)
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.," directed by Robert Kenner (Canada)
Documentary takes a look at food preparation, industrialized and otherwise for the mass population.
"Gigantic," directed by Matt Aselton (USA)
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," directed by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom)
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," directed by Duncan Jones (United Kingdom)
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," directed by Justin Wilson (USA)
Documentary provides an artful look at 1968 through a pastiche of images from that year.
"Playground," directed by Libby Spears (USA)
Executive Producers: Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney
Documentary explores the rampant worldwide child sex trafficking industry.
"RIP: A Remix Manifesto," directed by Brett Gaylor (Canada)
Documentary looks at the changing landscape of music in The Internet Age focusing on the line between musical inspiration and copyright infringement.
"Rock Prophecies," directed by John Chester (USA)
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 nad Guildenstern are Undead," directed by Jordan Galland (USA)
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," directed by Lourens Blok (USA)
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," directed by Anthony Fabian (UK/South Africa)
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," directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (USA)
Cast: Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino
Drama about a Dominican baseball star that is signed to a minor league contract.