South Korea's Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) has announced three African directors - Idrissa Ouedraogo, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and Nacer Khemir - for its Jeonju Digital Project 2008, the festival's trademark shorts troika showcase.

The festival provides each director with $53,000 to make a 30-minute short to be put in the Jeonju Digital Project omnibus, which JIFF distributes locally and internationally through festivals and commercial release. Past editions' projects have won international awards and sold mobile, television and theatrical rights.

Moving from its previous focus on Asian directors, JIFF last year had three European directors including Pedro Costa, and is this year moving its spotlight to the African continent.

Born in Burkina Faso, Idrissa Ouedraogo (Tilai, Yaaba) is a Cannes and Berlin award-winning filmmaker. Ouedraogo's short for the Jeonju project, entitled The Birthday, tells the tragic story of a young woman trying to rise above her poverty.

Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Daratt, Bye Bye Africa) has won two prizes at Venice. Haroun's short for the project, Expectations, portrays one of the several thousands of African debtors that try to travel to the north.

Tunisian Nacer Khemir (Bab'aziz, The Dove's Lost Necklace), who previously screened in JIFF, is also a painter, sculpter and calligrapher who exhibited at the Pompidou Center and worked as a storyteller of Arabian Nights at the Chaillot National Theatre in Paris. His Jeonju short The Alphabet Of My Mother tells the story of a woman and how a visitor awakens memories of a lost son for her.

JIFF's 9th edition will run May 1-9 this year in the historic cultural city of Jeonju, two and a half hours south of Seoul.