The Adelaide Film Festival has chosen 13 films for its competition section including two that will have their world premieres at the festival, Granaz Moussavi's My Tehran For Sale, and Australian director Sarah Watt's My Year Without Sex.
France has the most contenders in the line-up with Sylvie Verheyde's a vivid study of childhood, Stella; Arnaud Desplechins' (Kings and Queens) portrait of a family, A Christmas Tale; and two co-productions Jose Luis Torres Leiva's The Sky, The Earth, And The Rain, and Haile Gerima's Teza.
Other films with a chance of winning the $16,500 (A$25,000) Natuzzi International award for best feature include All Around Us, Dean Spanley, Gomorrah, Jalainur, Kisses, Treeless Mountain and Zift.
The Adelaide Film Festival was the first festival in Australia to invest in films and 12 beneficiaries will premiere in 2009, including competition title and opening night film My Year Without Sex.
Like Watt's debut feature Look Both Ways, her second film also explores the capricious ways that the gods can reach out into suburbia and strike you down.
The Adelaide Film Festival opens on February 19 and closes on March 1 with Stephan Elliot's Easy Virtue.
Other Australian features that are having their world premieres in Adelaide are Glendyn Ivin's Last Ride; Safina Uberoi's A Good Man; Kriv Stenders' Lucky Country (formerly Home); Warwick Thornton's Samson and Delilah; James Bogle's Closed For Winter; Jonathan auf der Heide's Van Diemen's Land and Dean O'Flaherty's Beautiful.
Last Ride , A Good Man, Lucky Country and Samson and Delila have all received investment from the festival.
The competition jury is headed by Laurence Kardish, senior curator at the department of film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.