An international array ofacclaimed directors including Bahman Ghobadi, Tsai Ming Liang and ApichatpongWeerasethakul will make films for an innovative festival celebrating Mozart's250th anniversary.

Unveiling plans for thefilms in Cannes yesterday, festival organisers said they will be inspired bythemes from the composer's later works, including The Magic Flute and theRequiem. Named after Mozart's Masonic lodge, the New Crowned Hope Festival ispart of next year's Vienna Mozart Year.

Artistic director PeterSellars, a leading theatre and opera director, aims to reflect the turbulenceof Mozart's times, which saw in the French Revolution, by working withfilmmakers from changing cultures or societies. "If you want to honour the guy, the main thing is tounderstand what he trying to do and the world he was trying to make," Sellarssaid.

Ghobadi, whose credits include A Time For DrunkenHorses, will explore Kurdish themes in an untitled film. Liang, director of TheWayward Cloud, will shoot Dark Circle, hisversion of a fish out of water story. Thailand's Weerasethakul, in Cannes lastyear with Tropical Malady, has set Intimacy And Turbulencein a hospital 40 years ago.

Simon Field and KeithGriffiths of London's Illumination Films are executive producing for thefestival and the City of Vienna, which is supplying 30% to 70% of budgets.Field, former head of the Rotterdam International Film Festival, aims for theevent to travel internationally after Vienna.

"It's taking the idea of a festival one step further in thatwe are commissioning films," he said.

More directors may join, butso far confirmed are Chad's Mahamat Saleh Haroun, director of Bye, ByeAfrica, and Indonesia's GarinNugroho, whose recent credits include Of Love And Eggs.

Haroun's film, Daratt, is about a young man looking for his father'skiller, while Nugroho is making Sinta Obong as a Javanese opera. Additionally,Paraguay's Paz Encina is directing Hamaca Paraguaya, a 1935-set drama which isin Cannes' L'Atelier du Festival this year.