Locarno drafts Sori's anime for opener


The world premiere of Fumihiko Sori's animated film "Vexille" will open the 60th annual Locarno International Film Festival on Aug. 1, ushering in a program that includes a host of Hollywood films and projects from up-and-coming international directors (HR 7/12).

The selection of the anime title — about a female agent investigating the development of prohibited robotic technologies — represents a departure from last year's opening film, "Miami Vice." But second-year artistic director Frederic Maire is hardly avoiding Hollywood fare.

Slated for world or European premieres in Locarno's famous Piazza Grande are "Planet Terror" and "1408" from the Weinstein Co., "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "Knocked Up" from Universal, "Waitress" from Fox Searchlight and "Hairspray" from New Line Cinema.

The Franco-American co- production "Winners and Losers," Polish director Lech Kowalski's 2006 World Cup documentary, will close the festival Aug. 11.

Hong Kong's "The Drummer," starring Jaycee Chan, son of action icon Jackie Chan, also will screen in the Piazza Grande, along with the Brett Morgen documentary "Chicago 10," about the violence-ridden 1968 Demo-cratic National Convention in Chicago.

Among talent expected to attend the festival are Anthony Hopkins and Christian Slater, co-stars in Hopkins' competition comedy "Slipstream."

The only other U.S. film in competition is "Joshua" from George Ratliff.

A complete Locarno competition lineup can be found at www.hollywoodreporter.com.