Hunt finds Dallas opening


Helen Hunt's feature directorial debut "Then She Found Me" is set to open the second annual AFI Dallas International Film Festival.

The film will serve as the opening-night gala presentation for the 11-day event, set for March 27-April 6 in Dallas and featuring 210 films in the feature and short category.

Jack Lemmon will post¬humously receive the AFI Dallas Star Award honoring his contributions to the world of cinema. Also receiving the award this year is Hunt, Mickey Rooney, Charlize Theron and producer Todd Wagner.

"This group of honorees represent the best in film," said AFI Dallas artistic director and CEO Michael Cain, who singled out Wagner for his philanthropic efforts and work highlighting Dallas as a major film city.

Stuart Townsend's directorial debut "Battle in Seattle," starring Theron, Woody Harrelson and Ray Liotta, will serve as the closing-night gala presentation.

The satiric "What Just Happened" starring Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener and Stanley Tucci will be featured as a centerpiece screening, as will the Kate Beckinsale starrer "Snow Angels."

Presented by Target with the Dallas urban development Victory Park serving as a founding sponsor, this year's AFI Dallas will offer 290 screenings with films from 34 countries. The festival is a presentation of the Dallas Film Society.