Esther Gronenborn's, Achim von Boerries' England! and Philip Groening's L'Amour, L'Argent, L'Amour are among 19 features from German-speaking territories which have been nominated for the $27,500 (DM60,000) Max Ophuels Prize.

The award will be given out during the Max Ophuels Prize Film Festival, which take place in Saarbruecken, Germany, from January 16-21, 2001.

This year's line-up includes two films from Austria - Florian Flicker's Der Ueberfall and Leopold Lummerstorfer's Gelbe Kirschen - and two from Switzerland - Stefan Jaeger's Birthday and Mathieu Seiler's Orgienhaus. The remaining 15 films in competition are from German film-makers.

In addition, this year's competition section offers no less than nine world premieres, including Charly Weller's WWW.Vermisst-Auf-Dem-Oktoberfest.De, Hans Weingartner's Das Weisse Rauschen, Maria Speth's Gesichter, Tim Trageser's Clowns, Eleni Ampelakiotou and Gregor Schnitzler's Finnlandia and Uli M. Schueppel's Planet Alex.

Held in Saarbruecken for the first time in 1980, the Max Ophuels Prize Film Festival (named after the famous film director) has been dedicated to supporting young film-makers working in the German language from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The main Film Prize, which includes a distribution premium of $13,750 (DM30,000), is accompanied by other awards including best newcomer actor and actress.