The Critics' Week section of the Cannes film festival has confirmed that Melvin van Peebles film Bellyful (Le Conte Du Ventre Plein) will get its world premiere at a special screening.

The Critics Week (May 11-19) said the decision to programme van Peebles' picture is "the first of a new kind, which confirms through actions, the desire of the Critics Week founders to support works and auteurs which escape the ordinary."

It is the first public move by Jose Maria Riba, who took over Critics Week after the retirement last year of critic and author Jean Roy.

The $4m film, which was produced in France by Euripide Productions and is sold internationally by Nicolas Brigaud Robert's Films Distribution, makes extensive use of digital cameras.

Van Peebles, father of Mario van Peebles has had a wide-ranging career that spans music, journalism and film. He has directed a dozen films including 1971 blaxploitation classic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.