25 European film directors - from Germany's Fatih Akin through to Portugal's Teresa Villaverde and Latvia's Laila Pakalnina to Sweden's Jan Troell and Hungary's Bela Tarr - are to each contribute five-minute shorts giving their personal visions of Europe.

The European Visions project was conceived by ZDF's Meinholf Zurhorst and is being supervised by Denmark's Zentropa Entertainment.

The directors will have an April 1 deadline for delivering their films. 'It will be a close race for everyone,' said Zentropa's Mikael Olsen. 'It is quite a unique project because we have to trust and depend on one another to deliver on time.'

The omnibus of shorts will then be broadcast by ARTE in May as part of a thematic evening to mark the enlargement of the European Union with the arrival of ten new countries.