The autonomous governments of Spain's Canary Islands and its capital Las Palmas have launched the International Film Festival of Las Palmas, Grand Canary Island. The first annual edition of the festival, which is co-sponsored by Canal Plus, will be held April 8-16.

Kirk Douglas, Kristen Scott Thomas and Faye Dunaway are expected to be on hand to present their recent work in, respectively, John Mallory Asher's Diamonds, Phillip Haas's Up At The Villa and Marc Lazard's Stanley's Gig. The three films comprise the festival's non-competitive official section. Douglas will also be the recipient of a tribute by the festival.

Official competition awards include distribution funds for the winning films. Among the 14 titles competing are Connor McPherson's Saltwater (Ireland), Helena Taberna's Yoyes (Spain), Agnieska Holland's The Third Miracle (US), Werner Herzog's My Intimate Enemy (US-Canada) and Gerardo Chijona's A Paradise Under The Stars (Cuba-Spain).

A second non-competitive section features films which have previously screened in other festivals, such as San Sebastian or Berlin. Among the 18 titles are Patricia Ferreira's I Know Who You Are (Spain), Zhang Yang's The Shower (China), Carlos Dieguez's Orfeu (Brazil), Michel Deville's La Maladie De Sachs (France) and Agusti Villaronga's The Sea (Spain).

Finally, a sidebar dedicated to cinema from the UK will screen Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland, Paul McGuigan's The Acid House and Sane Meadows' Twenty Four Seven, among others.