The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) today announced the line-up for its eighth edition, which will kick off with the world premiere of Offroad by Han Seung-ryong and close with Johnnie To's Exiled.

Han was previously a co-editor on films such as E J-yong's Untold Scandal and Jang Sun-Woo's Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl. Offroad was coincidentally shot in Jeonju.

JIFF, which runs April 26-May 4, also announced that it has turned its Korean film sections for features and shorts, respectively, into competitions. The newly instated KT&G award and the JJ-Star award, amongst others, will go to local films in these sections competing for prizes ranging from $2,000 - $10,000.

In addition, the festival's main competition section, Indie Vision, has absorbed the former Digital Spectrum section - 'in order to concentrate on discovering new filmmakers from around the world regardless of the media they are working in,' according to JIFF organisers. The section's jury will confer the Woosuk Award along with a purse of $10,000. JIFF is also to see the introduction of the NETPAC award promoting Asian films.

The festival will screen 185 films from 35 countries, down from 194 films from 42 countries last year. JIFF organisers said 661 local films and 374 foreign films were submitted this year, up 17% from 2006. They attributed the increase to the fact that the festival's profile has been heightened by its three-director digital omnibus projects, which recently saw a retrospective at the Locarno festival.

JIFF had already announced Pedro Costa, Harun Farocki and Eugène Green as the directors for the 'Jeonju Digital Project 2007', formerly known as 'Digital Short Films by Three Filmmakers'.

For the first time this year, the three directors will each choose a film they would like to recommend to audiences which will be screened alongside the digital omnibus in the Carte Blanche section. JIFF is also producing a set of three local shorts with the support of the local government to world premiere at the fest.

Special sections and retrospectives include Korean HD cinema, Czech director Jiri Menzel, Turkish cinema, the 'godfather of fake documentaries' Peter Watkins, experimental films from Harun Farocki and Armenian director Artavazd Peleshjan, and a memorial on the recently deceased political modernist Daniele Huillet.

Festival director Min Byoung-rok also announced plans to produce a feature film for JIFF's tenth anniversary edition in 2009. The festival will launch the film on its opening night and distribute it worldwide.