June 23, 2004 02:00 PM

Tom Cruise and his latest thriller, director Michael Mann’s Collateral, will help open the eighth annual Urbanworld Film Festival in Manhattan on Aug. 4, two days before the movie hits theaters, the Associated Press reports.

Collateral is the perfect film to open this year’s Urbanworld,” festival founder Stacy Spikes said in a statement. “This picture illustrates what the term ‘urban’ truly represents in 2004. Urban is about sensibility, not just ethnicity.”

The film features Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo. In the plot, the Cruise plays a contract killer who hijacks a cab driven by Foxx’s character.

Meanwhile, across the Pacific, a record 20,000 attendees at the fifth annual Maui Film Festival named first-time director Zach Braff’s Garden State as best feature film.

Braff, 29, who is best known as Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian on the NBC comedy Scrubs, also wrote the screenplay and stars as a man who returns home for his mother’s funeral and, among other things, strikes up a relationship with an eccentric young woman, played by Natalie Portman.

The movie opens nationally July 30.

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