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AFI plays by ‘Rules’

Hallstrom pic to kick off AFI's film fest

AFI director Jon Fitzgerald has chosen Miramax Films’ “The Cider House Rules” as the opening night film for the 13th Annual AFI Film Festival, which runs Oct. 21-29 in Los Angeles.

“Rules,” helmed by Lasse Hallstrom (“My Life as a Dog”) and starring Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Michael Caine, makes its U.S. preem at the fest’s gala Oct. 21 opening at the Egyptian.

Fitzgerald also announced a list of official selections for the fest — including films that will play in and out of competition.

AFI’s slate includes 50 pix. All U.S. premieres and pics in competition will screen either at fest headquarters, the American Cinematheque Egyptian Theater, the El Capitan Theater, or the Vogue Theater.

“This year’s AFI Fest will be the most diversified and exciting slate to date,” said Fitzgerald. “With the success of last year’s opening film, ‘Life Is Beautiful,’ we are pleased to once again open the festival with another gem from Miramax.”

The films officially selected for competition are Akira Kurosawa’s last script, “After the Rain” (Japan); “Ambush” (Finland); “Birdcage Inn” (Korea); “Cosy Dens” (Czech Republic); “The Emperor and the Assassin” (Japan/China); “Gemini” (Japan); “Harm’s Way” (France/Turkey/Italy); “The Magnetist’s Fifth Winter” (Denmark); “Not of this World” (Italy); and “Vanaprastham, the Last Dance” (India).

Out of competition films are “Set Me Free” (Canada/France/Switzerland); Sophie’s World” (Norway); and “Throne of Death” (India).