Under the management of Francois Da Silva, the new Cannes Director's Fortnight is beginning to take shape as an enlarged and experimental section with an emphasis on diversity.

The first four films to be announced range from a Yakuza genre film, to an intense drama by a normally mainstream director and one of the first films to be made in Afghanistan since the US invasion of 2001.

They are The Mother (pictured) by the UK's Roger Michell, Miike Takashi's Gozu, French first film Alain Guiraudie's Pas De Repos Pour Les Braves and Ossama, the story of three Afghan women's lives by first-timer Sedigh Barmak.

Da Silva expects to expand the number of features in the Fortnight to 25, including a couple of special screenings and to play to host at least 15 shorts.

The first two of these to be announced are Nasu (Un Ete En Andalousie), the first animated short in the Fortnight's history, from Japan's Studio Ghibli, and 50-minute Israeli picture Voices Of The Heartland: Slaves Of The Lord by woman director Hadar Friedlich.

On April 25 the Fortnight will unveil its full selection and is expecting to show films of at least 20 nationalities, rising to 30 when the shorts are included. The widely-travelled Da Silva says this reflects the strength of film-making talent dispersed around the world and that 80% are currently without sales companies on board.