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Auckland lands `Lola,' `Mother'.

AUCKLAND Tom Tykwer's Euro hit "Run Lola Run" and Pedro Almodovar's "All About My Mother" bookend the 31st Auckland Intl. Film Festival opening July 9.

More than 180 titles fill the 16-day program, but not one of the eight local pies the New Zealand Film Commission unspooled at the Cannes market is among them.

Distributors' fears that inclusion might saddle titles with an arthouse tag and festival programmers' doubts about the merits of some of the others have left only two low-profile projects to wave the national flag: "Campaign," a short docu shot on the country's last election night, and "Uncomfortable Comfortable," a no-budget relationship drama shot in the filmmaker's apartment and which didn't even have a title until the fest deadline.

Most notable among local omissions are "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?" the sequel to "Once Were Warriors" and Annie Goldson's "Punitive Damage," a potent documentary about the murder of a young New Zealander by Indonesian troops during the infamous 1991 Dili massacre in East Timor.

Noncompetitive fest, which moves in truncated form to five smaller cities, includes Robert Altman's "Cookie's Fortune," Sundance's docu winner "American Movie" and some of the highlights from Cannes 1998: Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration," John Boorman's "The General," Erick Zonca's "The Dreamlife of Angels" and Ken Loach's "My Name Is Joe." More commercial inclusions are David Cronenberg's "eXistenZ" and David Mamet's "The Winslow Boy."

Erich von Stroheim's 1928 monument to Old Vienna "The Wedding March," Buster Keaton's "The General" and Frank Hurley's 1919 Antarctic classic "South" will feature restored prints with live accompaniment by local musicians.

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Date:Jun 21, 1999
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