The first Branchage Jersey Film Festival (Sept 25-28) kicked off last night with a gala screening of the multiple-festival-winning Man On Wire at the Jersey Opera House.

Following the screening, producer Simon Chinn revealed that he isworking on another documentary project with Man On Wire director James Marsh.

The festival aims to promote Jersey as a potential location for international film makers, as well as showcasing local talent. In addition, UK producers and financiers will take part in a behind closed doors forum with Jersey delegates today to discuss the possibility of the island setting up a tax credit system or other financial incentive to attract filmmakers to Jersey.

As part of the festival a prize of $18,400 (£10,000) will be awarded to a local film-maker through the Islanders Film Award; the winning film will be screened on the last day of the festival (Sept 28). The programme also includesa 'future of producing' panel hosted by Shooting People.

UK films to receive their Jersey debut at the Festival include: A Complete History of My Sexual Failures, followed by a Q&A with the film's director Chris Waitt; Shane Meadows' Somers Town; and Lenny Abrahamson's Cannes 2007 hit Garage.

'Though only in its first year, the festival has managed to secure some fantastic films and great venues, the combination stands the festival in great stead to deliver something unique and audience pleasing,' said Branchage creative director Xanthe Hamilton.

The international hits being screened at the festival reflect the island's French, Portuguese and Polish communities. Screenings will include Female Agents (Les Femmes De L'Ombre), Elite Squad (Tropa De Elite), and Ladies (Lejdas)

The festival will close on Sept 28 at the historic Gorey Castle with Vertigo/Film4's MySpace user-generated film Faintheart, followed by a Q&A with the film's director Vito Rocco and writer David Lemon.

Branchage is being backed by, Jersey Trust, Spearpoint Limited, Jersey Tourism, Jersey Arts Trust, Jersey Heritage and the local film and finance industries.