New films by Francois Rotger and Sean Baker have been added to Locarno's official selection a week before the festival opens on Aug 6 with Brideshead Revisited on the Piazza Grande.

Rotger's French-Canadian co-production StoryOfJen, starring Laurence Leboeuf, Marina Hands and Tony Ward, will screen as a world premiere in the International Competition on Aug 14, bringing the number of Competition films up to 18.

The lineup of films in the Filmmakers of the Present Competition has also been brought up to 18 with the invitation of Sean Baker's Prince Of Broadway which will also be screened on Aug14.

In addition, the jury for the International Competition is now complete with the naming of Israeli actor Liron Levo, whose credits include several films with Amos Gitai, the recipient of this year's Leopard of Honour on the evening of Aug7.

Meanwhile, the Locarno festival organisation has announced that American actress Anjelica Huston will not now be able to come to receive the Excellence Award on Aug 9 as previously planned.

In a statement, she said that 'due to unforeseen events and personal reasons, I am unable to make the trip to Switzerland this summer. I hope to reschedule for an upcoming festival in the near future.'

The European premiere of her film Choke will go ahead as an open-air screening on the Piazza Grande at 23.30 on Aug 9 with the director Clark Gregg, scriptwriter Chuck Palahniuk, the film's producers Flynn Beau, Johnathan Dorfman, and co-producer Lisa Zambri attending.

Choke is one of four films showing on the Piazza Grande this year (the others are The Eternity Man, In 3 Tagen Bis du Tot 2, and Outlander) which carry a 'health warning' about certain scenes from the festival organisers.

Micha Lewinsky's Der Freund, which picked up the Swiss Film Awards for Best Film and Best Emerging Actor in January, and Reto Caffi's short On The Line, winner of the Honorary Foreign Film Award at the Student Academy Awards in June, are among 11 Swiss productions selected for this year's Appellations Suisse sidebar in Locarno.

The showcase of films with international potential consists of six feature-length documentaries - traditionally, a particular strength of Swiss cinema -, four fiction films and Caffi's 30-minute short which was his graduation film from the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne (KHM).

The selection by the national film promotion agency Swiss Films includes the Swiss-Russian documentary The Mother about a Russian mother raising her children under difficult circumstances, which won the MDR Award for Best Film from Central and Eastern Europe at Leipzig's International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film last year as well as Silvio Soldini's family drama Days And Clouds which was shown in Toronto's Contemporary World Cinema section and at the London Film Festival last year.

The complete line-up is as follows:

- Bird's Nest - Herzog & de Meuron In China (2008) by Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindhelm (documentary)
- Bursting (Bersten) (2007) by Michael Finger
- Days And Clouds (Giorni e nuvole) (2007) by Silvio Soldini
- Der Freund (2008) by Micha Lewinsky
- Glorious Exit (2008) by Kevin Merz (documentary)
- Nomad's Land - Sur les traces de Nicolas Bouvier (2008) by Gaël Metroz (documentary)
- On The Line (Auf der Strecke) (2007) by Reto Caffi (short)
- The Beast Within (2008) by Yves Scagliola (documentary)
- The Other Half (L'autre Moitie) (2007) by Rolando Colla
- The Mother (La Mere) (2007) by Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov (documentary)
- Unwanted Witness (Temoin Indesirable) (2008) by Juan Jose Lozano (documentary)