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The American Film Institute announced today that the highly anticipated Tom Cruise drama “Lions for Lambs” will be the opening-night film for AFI Fest 2007. Directed by Robert Redford, “Lambs” is the first release under the Paula Wagner / Tom Cruise regime at United Artists. The picture stars Redford, Cruise and Meryl Streep, and is described as a politically charged drama centered around two American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and a U.S. senator with presidential ambitions (Cruise) who May have a hand in their fates. Streep plays a TV journalist poised to land a major story with the help of the senator. Redford appears as an idealistic college professor who is torn by the choices of two of his former students. “We think it’s an exciting film and an important film,” Wagner, UA’s chief executive, said in a statement released today by AFI. “And this is the perfect way to introduce it to the public.” So far, it’s the only festival selection for “Lambs.” It’s scheduled to be in theaters Nov. 9.