The Motorcycle Diariesis to open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was announcedyesterday.

Walter Salles's epic account of the 1952 motorbike journeyacross Latin-America undertaken by the then 23-year-old Ernesto 'Che' Guevaraand his 29-year-old friend Alberto Granado won the Ecumenical Prize at theCannes Festival earlier this month. Though controversially snubbed for the mainawards, it was among the most enthusiastically received films in Cannes.

Salles and Gael Garcia Bernal (who plays Guevara) areexpected in Edinburgh for the screening on the 18th August, shortly prior tothe film's UK release.

"Their film is politically admirable, aestheticallyravishing and thoroughly captivating," EIFF Artistic Director ShaneDanielsen told "We're very proud to have it."

The EIFF will be screening another Cannes title, ShonaAuerbach's debut feature Dear Frankie(which premiered in Un Certain Regard) in its British Gala section. Shot on thewest coast of Scotland, this drama about a single mother (Emily Mortimer)trying to find a father for her deaf son was scripted by Andrea Gibb, who alsowrote Afterlife (last year's audienceaward winner in Edinburgh.).

The festival will also be holding a full retrospective ofthe features of Valerio Zurlini, an Italian director once reckoned the equal ofPasolini and Antonioni, but whose films have largely slipped out of sight sincehis death in 1982.

"The point of retrospectives, while I have beenprogramming them, is to throw a light on the careers of people who have beencast into shadow for whatever reason," Danielsen said. "20 yearsafter his death Zurlini is virtually unknown. He is an important filmmakerwhose reputation deserves to be rescued from oblivion."

The EIFF runs 18-29 August. The full programme will beannounced on 14 July.