The 2015 AFI Latin American Film Festival taking place at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland from September 17 to October 7, opens with the romantic drama SAND DOLLARS, based on the novel “Les Dollars des Sables” by Jean-Noël Pancrazi. SAND DOLLARS is the fourth film by directors Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas (COCOCHI, JEAN GENTIL), and stars Geraldine Chaplin (DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, THE ORPHANAGE) as a wealthy foreign tourist who is head over heels for a much-younger local woman. The film was recently announced as the Dominican Republic’s Official Academy Award® Submission.

In the picturesque seaside town of Las Terrenas, French expat Anne (Geraldine Chaplin, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO) has fallen in love with the much younger local, Noeli (Yanet Mojica). But the feeling isn’t exactly mutual — Noeli makes a living scamming off the kindness of tourists. She shares her earnings with her boyfriend, whom she passes off to Anne as her brother. Things become complicated when Anne promises to take Noeli back to France with her.

The Closing Night film, TRASH, directed by Stephen Daldry (BILLY ELLIOT, THE HOURS) and written by Richard Curtis (LOVE ACTUALLY, WAR HORSE), follows three trash-picking boys from Rio de Janeiro who team up with two American missionaries, Martin Sheen (THE WEST WING) and Rooney Mara (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE SOCIAL NETWORK), to uncover political corruption.

Other highlights include MESSI, a docudrama about the world’s greatest soccer player; the U.S. premiere of Colombia’s ALIAS MARÍA, straight from its debut at the Cannes Film Festival; Kristen Wiig (BRIDESMAIDS) in NASTY BABY, a Brooklyn-set dark comedy from Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva; and WITHOUT WINGS, the first U.S. feature to be made in Cuba since 1959.

The complete schedule of the 2015 AFI Latin American Film Festival is available online.

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