Nu Image, the action-genre film production company, has found validation of its new pursuit of low-budget art features with the Sundance Film Festival’s acceptance for competition this year of “Santa Fe,” the Mark Medoff-scripted pic starring Lolita Davidovich, Gary Cole and Tina Majorino.

After hammering out 60 B-movie actioners over five years, the company joined the artsploitation trend with “Search and Destroy,” a pic helmed by David Salle and exec produced by Martin Scorsese. While that pic also premiered at Sundance three years ago, it was regarded as a fluke for Nu Image, which is headed by Avi Lerner.

But Nu Image has continued to diverge from car crashes and explosions with the recently completed “American Perfekt,” a psychological thriller starring Amanda Plummer and David Thewlis; “Frankie the Fly,” starring Dennis Hopper; and “The Maker,” starring Matthew Modine and Mary Louise Parker, helmed by Tim Hunter (“River’s Edge”).

“There is a home here for filmmakers who are interested in doing pictures that are not mainstream, that are personal,” said Boaz Davidson, head of production and creative affairs.

“Santa Fe” is produced by indie veteran Larry Estes in association with Absolute Unequivocal Productions. Exec producers are Sharon Bialy and Davidson.

The company’s action faction is not flagging however. Lensing has just wrapped on “Hellbent,” a $17 million thriller toplining Dolph Lundgren and Roy Scheider and helmed by Frederic Forestier for Millenium Films, the joint venture between October Films and Nu Image.

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