This year's Hong Kong International Film Festival will feature 16 world premieres as part of an expanded line-up that reflects its new industry and international ambitions.

Among the world premieres are Indonesian director Riri Riza's Three Days To Forever; Fruit Chan's 30-minute short Xian Story; Things We Do When We Fall In Love from Malaysia's James Lee, and two films from this year's 'Director In Focus' Herman Yau - A Mob Story and Whispers And Moans.

The event will also feature 9 international premieres - including Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's documentary Nanking , fresh from Sundance success - and 22 Asian premieres.

Yau Nai-hoi's Eye In The Sky will be the opening film along with previously announced opener I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK. Both films will screen on the night before the festival opens on March 19.

However, due to its length, this year's HKIFF won't feature a closing film. The fest has changed dates to start at the same time as Hong Kong Filmart and to encompass Easter weekend - so will run for a whopping 23 days from March 20 to April 11. In lieu of a closing film, Suzie Templeton's animated version of Prokofiev's Peter & The Wolf will screen on the last day with accompaniment from the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

As previously reported, the HKIFF is striving to become a more international event, and also more of an industry platform, with new developments such as the launch of the inaugural Asian Film Awards and by taking over management of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).

Other highlights in the programme include the Asian Digital Competition, including the world premiere of Zhang Yaodong's Mid-Afternoon Barks; the Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries; a Pedro Costa retrospective; a section on Young Romanian Cinema, and a new programme entitled 'Animation For All'.

As usual, the festival will also feature a Chinese Renaissance section, including Berlin Golden Bear winner Tuya's Marriage, and the Hong Kong Panorama featuring the best of local cinema over the past year.