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AFI Dallas to Fete Towne; Adds 10 to '09 List

By Brian Brooks | Indiewire February 17, 2009 at 3:52AM

Oscar-winning writer Robert Towne will receive the AFI Dallas Star Award honoring his career and the 35th anniversary of "Chinatown," (directed by Roman Polanski) which won Towne the Academy Award for best screenplay in 1975. The festival, taking place March 26 - April 2, has also released ten additional titles to this year's line up, including the U.S. debuts of Topaz Adizes's "Americana" and Charles Biname's "The American Trap."
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Oscar-winning writer Robert Towne will receive the AFI Dallas Star Award honoring his career and the 35th anniversary of "Chinatown," (directed by Roman Polanski) which won Towne the Academy Award for best screenplay in 1975. The festival, taking place March 26 - April 2, has also released ten additional titles to this year's line up, including the U.S. debuts of Topaz Adizes's "Americana" and Charles Biname's "The American Trap."

"It is a thrill to honor an accomplished artist like Robert Towne," said Michael Cain, AFI Dallas artistic director in a statement. "This is someone that had a hand in creating some of the signature films of the 70s--one of the legendary fertile periods in American film history, not to mention the other major films within his body of work. And to have an opportunity to see a classic like 'Chinatown' on the big screen and then have one of the architects of that film discuss it afterward? That's a date you automatically mark on your calendar."

Films added to the 2009 AFI Dallas roster, with descriptions provided by the festival:

"Americana" (USA), director: Topaz Adizes
Documentary follows the experiences of two young men from a small town in Arizona as they complete their last semester of high school and enlist in the Army to join the fight in Iraq.

"The American Trap" (Canada), director: Charles Biname
Cast: Remy Girard, Gerard Darmon, Colm Feore, Joe Cobden, Janet Lane
Thriller set in a world of global intrigue and corruption, as a man attempts to uncover the truths behind the JFK assassination.

"Evangelion 1.0 You Are Not Alone" (Japan), director: Hideaki Anno, Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki
Film is the first in a four-part series adapted and re-imagined from the legendary "Neon Genesis is Evangelion" anime series.

"The Garden" (USA), director: Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Documentary traces the events that led to the creation of a 14-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles and the struggle between the urban farmers, the City of Los Angeles and a powerful developer who sought to evict them and build warehouses on the property.

"Kassim the Dream" (Uganda/USA), director: Kief Davidson
Documentary profiles Kassim 'The Dream' Ouma, who survived being a child soldier in Uganda to becoming a champion boxer.

"Like Dandelion Dust" (USA), director: Jon Gunn
Cast: Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser
Drama pits a couple versus a parolee father who seeks to take custody of their six-year-old adopted son.

"Lymelife" (USA), director: Derick Martini
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kieran Culkin, Rory Culkin, Jill Hennessy, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, Emma Roberts
Drama set in Long Island during the late 1970s, follows the intertwining lives of two families focusing on the teenaged children and their attempts to cope with the times.

"Rudo Y Cursi" (Mexico), director: Carlos Cuaron
Cast: Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal
Drama about the turmoil between two brothers who compete against each other in the world of professional soccer.

"Tyson" (USA), director: James Toback
Documentary takes an unvarnished view of the controversial former heavyweight champion boxer.

"Upstream Battle" (USA), director: Ben Kempas
Documentary chronicles the battle between Native Americans and an energy corporation as they seek to protect the salmon they depend on for their survival.

This article is related to: Festivals