Universal action films join 'Anvil' in '08 lineup

Two Universal films based on graphic novels will bookend Film Independent’s 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Director Timur Bekmambetov’s actioner “Wanted,” starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, will open the fest. Guillermo del Toro’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” is the closer.

In between, Sacha Gervasi’s critically acclaimed docu “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” will get the Centerpiece treatment among 230 films, shorts and musicvids.

“The festival is a chance for the film industry and filmgoers to have direct access to each other,” said Film Independent exec director Dawn Hudson. “It is an important ongoing objective in building an interest for diverse films in arthouses and multiplexes alike.”

The competition lineup is heavy on preems. Narrative features include Sean Baker’s New York immigrant story “Prince of Broadway” and “The Poker House,” directed by Lori Petty and written by Petty and comedian David Alan Grier. Docu premieres include Darius Marder’s “Loot,” following a modern-day treasure hunter and his son.

Pics in the doc and narrative sections will each compete for unrestricted $50,000 grants.

In the fest’s Summer Preview section, dedicated to upcoming indie releases, are Sundance winners “Ballast,” “Frozen River” and “Man on Wire.” The Dark Wave section of edgier fare includes Alexie Balabanov’s thriller “Cargo 200″ and Tomas Alfredson’s vampire love story “Let the Right One In,” which recently grabbed the top prize at Tribeca.

Based in Westwood Village, the fest also will host Coffee Talks, panels and “Kodak Speed Dating” matching festival filmmakers with industry heavies for one-on-one sessions.

The Los Angeles Film Festival runs June 19-29.

Narrative Competition
“Big Heart City,” Ben Rodkin
“HottieBoombaLottie,” Seth Packard (world premiere)
“I’ll Come Running,” Spencer Parsons (world premiere)
“Medicine for Melancholy,” Barry Jenkins
“The Pleasure of Being Robbed,” Josh Safdie
“The Poker House,” Lori Petty (world premiere)
“Prince of Broadway,” Sean Baker (world premiere)

Documentary Competition
“Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story,” Stefan Forbes
“Dirty Hands: The Art & Crimes of David Choe,” Harry Kim (world premiere)
“Finishing Heaven,” Mark Mann (world premiere)
“Largo,” Andrew van Baal,” Mark Flanagan (world premiere)
“Loot,” Darius Marder (world premiere)
“Must Read After My Death,” Morgan Dews (US premiere)
“Paper or Plastic?,” Justine Jacob,” Alex D. Da Silva (world premiere)
“Pressure Cooker,” Jennifer Grausman,” Mark Becker (world premiere)
“Thing With No Name,” Sarah Friedland
“Trinidad,” PJ Raval,” Jay Hodges (world premiere)

International Showcase
“The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela,” Olaf De Fleur Johannesson – Iceland/Philippines/USA
“Captain Ahab,” Philippe Ramos – France
“The Choir,” Michael Davie – South Africa (North American premiere)
“Exodus,” Pang Ho-Cheung – Hong Kong
“Fear(s) of the Dark,” Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire – France (IFC Films)
“Four Wives – One Man,” Nahid Persson – Sweden/Iran
“Hafner’s Paradise,” Günter Schwaiger – Austria/Spain (US premiere)
“Heartbeat Detector,” Nicolas Klotz – France (New Yorker Films)
“Hello,” Stranger,” Kim Dong-hyun – South Korea (North American premiere)
“Hold Me Tight,” Let Me Go,” Kim Longinotto – England (Women Make Movies)
“Hotel Very Welcome,” Sonja Heiss – Germany
“Infinite Border,” Juan Manuel Sepúlveda – Mexico (US premiere)
“La France,” Serge Bozon – France
“Mechanical Love,” Phie Ambo – Denmark
“Sonetàula,” Salvatore Mereu – Italy/France/Belgium
“Tricks,” Andrzej Jakimowski – Poland
“Useless,” Jia Zhang-ke – China
“When Clouds Clear,” Anne Slick,” Danielle Bernstein – Ecuador/USA
“Where Are Their Stories?,” Nicolás Pereda – Mexico/Canada
“Wonderful Town,” Aditya Assarat – Thailand (Kino International)
“You,” the Living,” Roy Andersson – Sweden (Tartan Films)

Summer Previews
“The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale,” Jeff Stimmel (HBO) (world premiere)
“Baghead,” Mark Duplass,” Jay Duplass (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Ballast,” Lance Hammer (IFC Films)
“Boy A,” John Crowley – England (The Weinstein Company)
“Choke,” Clark Gregg (Fox Searchlight)
“Elite Squad,” José Padilha – Brazil (The Weinstein Company)
“Encounters at the End of the World,” Werner Herzog (THINKFilm)
“Frozen River,” Courtney Hunt (Sony Pictures Classics)
“A Girl Cut in Two,” Claude Chabrol – France (IFC Films)
“Man on Wire,” James Marsh – England (Magnolia Pictures)
“Momma’s Man,” Azazel Jacobs (THINKFilm)
“The Order of Myths,” Margaret Brown
“The Wackness,” Jonathan Levine (Sony Pictures Classics)

Dark Wave
“Cargo 200,” Alexei Balabanov – Russia
“Let the Right One In,” Tomas Alfredson – Sweden (Magnolia Pictures)
“X-Cross,” Kenta Fukasaku – Japan

Guilty Pleasures
“Coyote,” Brian Petersen – USA/Mexico
“Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal,” Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato (HBO)
“Mirage Man,” Ernesto Díaz Espinoza – Chile (Magnolia Pictures)

Tribute Screenings
“Derek,” Isaac Julien (Derek Jarman, 1942 – 1994), England
“The Makioka Sisters (1983),” Kon Ichikawa (Kon Ichikawa, 1915 – 2008) – Japan
“Nothing But A Man (1964),” Michael Roemer (Ivan Dixon, 1931 – 2008)
“Peter Pan (1953),” Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske (Ollie Johnston, 1912 – 2008)
“Planet of the Apes (1968),” Franklin J. Schaffner (Charlton Heston, 1923 – 2008)

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