Contemporary documentary cinema from Iran will be the focus of National Spotlight programme of the 15th annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, it was announced yesterday. Mexico has been selected for the festival's other national-themed sidebar, the Made In programme. The festival runs from April 17 to 27, 2008.

'Having visited both Mexico and Iran this fall, it's clear they have thriving documentary scenes with a plentitude of work from both established and emerging filmmakers,' said Hot Docs director of programming Sean Farnel in a statement. 'As always with these national cinema programmes, we're excited about the opportunity to present a fulsome selection, and a richer portrait, of these two quite distinct countries and cultures. I'm sure our local audiences, including large ex-pat communities from both countries, will also appreciate these programmes.'

Past spotlights have been cast on Central and Eastern Europe (2007), France (2006), Israel (2005), The Netherlands (2004), the UK (2003) and Germany (2002). Made in... programmes have featured the documentary cinema of places such as Brazil (2007), Japan (2006), South Africa (2004) and Taiwan (2003).

Spotlight on Iran and Made in Mexico are two of more than seven programmes planned for Hot Docs 2008, which will take place April 17 to 27. Submissions for Hot Docs 2008 are now being accepted with the early entry deadline being December 10, 2007, and the late entry deadline being January 10, 2008.

Submission information is available at