The40th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 1-9) has unveiled its fullcompetition line-up, which will include four world premieres.

Director Igor Sterk's Tuning from Slovenia, Sion Sono's Noriko's Dinner Table from Japan,German-Austrian co-production Unveiledfrom director Angelina Maccarone and Israeli production What aWonderful Placefromdirector Eyal Halfon will all world premiere at the festival.

Festival artistic director Eva Zaoralova pointed out the strong presence ofwomen in these films.

"In the Israeli film What aWonderful Place, it's theUkrainian girl Jana whose story clearly stands out," she told Halfon's film tells the story of Eastern Europeans who seek to improvetheir lives by moving abroad to earn money, only partly aware of what theirwork will entail. Jana falls into prostitution. "We believe in Jana's lovefor her daughter, who she left at home, and we are not offended when she triesto earn money from selling her body."

A female character is at the centre of the Slovenian film Tuning. "Somewhat like the heroines of the films ofMichelangelo Antonioni, she feels that her marriage is stuck," Zaoralovasaid. "[Director] Igor Sterk knows how to achieve absolutely minuteperception from a minimalist economy, to convey the crises of relations centralto a married couple. I'm sure that his story will speak to viewers, who willfeel kinship with the characters."

Unveiledis the story of an Iranian woman who tries to settle in Germany. "The heroineof the film, Farida, had an intellectual occupation at home in Iran, but inGermany she must get used to a proletarian way of life. She finds that even inWestern society prevailing prejudices are no less strong than those in thelands of the Koran."

"The most complex film in competition is definitely Noriko's Dinner Table," Zaoralova said. The film is SionSono's follow-on to his successful SuicideClub. "The director's ability to combine elements of the psychologicalthriller with a study of puberty is admirable, and his expressive stylecontinually strikes the viewer with peculiar images."

Outside competition, Japanese animation director Kihachiro Kawamoto willpresent his new film The Book of theDead.

World premieres in the Forum of Independents sidebar include Gideon Nel's The Lunch, Stefan Le Lay's The Kiss, Andy Pearson's Park, Natalia Beliaskene's Gone Fishing, and Tom Tamas from Hungarian directors Gabriella Cserhati and FabienLartigue.

Other competition films in the official selection include Come into theLight fromItalian director Roberto Faenza, A Driver for Vera from Russian Oscar nominee PavelChukhrai, Life with My Father from Canadian director Sebastien Rose,French-Italian-Spanish-Romanian co-production The Lost Dominion from director Raoul Ruiz, Portrait ofa Lady Far Away fromIranian director Ali Mosaffa, British-Swedish co-production The Queenof Sheba's Pearls fromdirector Colin Nutley

The grand jury is comprised of chairman Michael Radford, Frederic Fonteyne, AliMacGraw, Fernando Mendez-Leite Serrano, Kornel Mundruczo, Rubba Nada and ZuzanaStivinova.

Festival organisers also announced more guests including Sharon Stone, formerU.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, European Commissioner VivianReding, and actors Brad Renfro and L.Q. Jones. Robert Redford, Liv Ullman andAlexander Payne will also attend the festival.
Festival audiences will also see films that generated buzz at Berlin andCannes, including the Dardennes brothers' TheChild, Gus Van Sant's Last Days,Wim Wenders' Don't Come Knocking andLars von Trier's Manderlay.

40th Karlovy VaryInternational Film Festival
Official Selection - Competition

Dir. Henrik Ruben Genz
Denmark, China

The City of the Sun
Dir. Martin Gulik
Czech Republic, Slovak Republic

Come into the Light
Dir. Roberto Faenza

A Driver for Vera
Dir. Pavel Chukhrai

Life with My Father
Dir. Sebastien Rose

The Lost Dominion
Dir. Raoul Ruiz
France, Romania, Spain, Italy

My Nikifor
Dir. Krzysztof Krauze

Noriko's Dinner Table
Dir. Sion Sono

Portrait of a Lady Far Away
Dir.Ali Mosaffa

The Queen of Sheba's Pearls
Dir. Colin Nutley
Sweden, United Kingdom

Dir. Igor Sterk

The Unburied Man
Dir. Márta Meszáros
Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic

Dir. Angelina Maccarone
Austria, Germany

What a Wonderful Place
Dir. Eyal Halfon