It took all of one year, and several million dollars provided by the likes of Target, for the AFI Dallas International Film Festival to establish itself as A Major Player on the film-fest circuit. From Thursday till April 6, Dallas will swaddle itself in red carpet, as no less than Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Josh Brolin, Sam Rockwell, Richard Jenkins, Helen Hunt, Tom McCarthy, Andre Benjamin and other A-listers and other familiar faces (um ...Tom Sizemore and Dolph Lundgren) stop over in the flyover for screenings of their respective films, many of which sold out not long after tickets became available earlier this month.
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Says Michael Cain, the fest’s artistic director and CEO, AFI Dallas is on pace to fill 45,000 of the 60,000 seats it’ll have available for some 260-plus screenings spread across multiple venues during its 11-day run. “The cool thing is, when we look at total tickets sold already,” Cain tells Unfair Park, “we’re at 75 percent of what we did all of last year, and we haven’t even started yet. People are getting the jump on it. They’re understanding how a festival works and that it’s good to buy your tickets in advance, after so many people showed up last year to sold-out screenings.” Which means, in short, you'd best hustle if you want to attend some of the fest's bigger screenings -- trailers for which are available here, if'n you're in need of help making up your mind. --Robert Wilonsky