Woody Allen's latest comedy Hollywood Ending will close the San Francisco International Film Festival on May 2, two weeks before it opens the Cannes Film Festival. It's unusual for Cannes organizers to allow a film to play at another international film festival before it is unveiled on the Croisette but since the San Francisco festival is a domestic event and the film itself opens in the US on May 3, an exception appears to have been made.

In the last decade, the US films which have opened the festival have been released in their home market - as is allowed by Cannes rules - before their European premieres. Last year's Moulin Rouge opened domestically on May 18, nine days after the Cannes premiere, but other festival openers such as Primary Colors (1998), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) and Basic Instinct (1992) had all already opened in the US.

Opening the 45th San Francisco festival is Jill Sprecher's 13 Conversations About One Thing which has also played at the Venice, Toronto and Sundance film festivals. Other films in the festival include two from Iranian director Nasser Saffarian - The Mirror Of The Soul and The Green Cold, Kiseki Hamada's Somewhere On Earth, Catherine Breillat's Brief Crossing, Andrew Lau's Dance Of A Dream, Song Hye-Sung's Failan, Khaled Ghorbal's Fatma, Heddy Honigmann's Good Husband, Dear Son, Zhang Yimou's Happy Times, Ann Hui's July Rhapsody, Sven Taddicken's My Brother The Vampire and Oxide Pang's One Take Only.

Executive director of the festival is Roxanne Messina Captor, working

with programming team Carl Spence, Linda Blackaby and Roger Garcia.