AFI Fest 2008 will open Nov. 5 with Joe Wright’s “The Soloist” to kick off a two-and-a-half-week run of major indie fare.

Actress Tilda Swinton and director Danny Boyle will be feted with AFI’s awards, with Swinton getting a career achievement nod, while Boyle will be there to screen his latest filmslumdog.jpg, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

The fest will close with close with Edward Zwick‘s “Defiance.” In between is a decidedly international selection of fest faves with few world premieres.

“This year’s selection of international films shows a commitment to cinematic innovation and a renewal of a tradition of realism in cinema,” artistic director Rose Kuo said.

In line with that trend, the World Cinema section includes a number of pics with stark themes including Cannes winner “The Class,” about the French school system; Matteo Garrone’s Italian crime pic “Gomorrah”; and Steve McQueen’s “Hunger,” which dramatizes IRA member Bobby Sands’ prison hunger strike.

The narrative competition will see Alejandro Tocar’s coming-of-ager “Acne,” Yemil Sefani’s family drama “Lake Tahoe” and one of the few world preems in Rafael Monserrate’s comedy “Poundcake.”