Speaking at the Locarno Film Festival this weekend, Anthony Hopkins revealed that he bypassed several other European festivals, including Rome and Venice, to bring his directorial debut Slipstream to Locarno.

'We lost the Rome Festival but we thought it would be better to come here,' Hopkins said. 'It is much more civilized. I have no disrespect to Rome or Cannes or Venice. They tend to be circuses, like Berlin. It's crazy.'

Slipstream screened in competition late last week to a generally warm response. The film, which had drawn mixed reviews when it premiered in Sundance, was likened by international critics in Locarno to the work of Nic Roeg and David Lynch.

Hopkins plays screenwriter Felix Bonhoeffer, a man at the end of his tether. Lines between reality and fiction become increasingly blurred as his latest film, shooting in the desert in Nevada, threatens to fall apart.

Hopkins stated that he would like to continue his new-found career as an independent director. 'This (Slipstream) was relatively easy for an independent film to make. If, on the next film, I can complete the script and raise the money to do it, I will look forward to it. I liked the independent movie. It's a whole new breath of fresh air.'

International sales on Slipstream are handled by Arclight Films.