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The Next Wave

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By summer’s end, could these upcoming indie flicks also become word-of-mouth hits?

CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES (May 2, Visionbox) Budgeted at under $500,000, newcomer Eric Byler’s drama about Asian Americans in various love triangles was nominated for two 2003 Independent Spirit awards.

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE (May 9, Miramax) Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett, and a handful of other soul legends reunite in this musical documentary from D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (Startup.com).

THE TRIP (May 9, TLA) Since debuting in 2002, first-time director Miles Swain’s $1 million gay opposites-attract comedy has picked up 12 prizes on the festival circuit, including a 2003 Kodak award for best independent feature. Following its New York bow this spring, the movie will expand into at least seven other cities throughout August.

Km. 0 (July 11, TLA) Campaigns for this $750,000 sexy Spanish farce will target gay and Hispanic groups. Pending strong openings in NYC, L.A., and San Francisco, TLA hopes to lock in more cities this summer.