Film-makers from the Mekong Delta region will be at thecentre of this year's Locarno festival (4-14 Aug). The festival's Open Doorssection will host a delegation of directors from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia whowill present a selection of their previous films and attempt to match theircurrent projects with financiers and distributors from Europe.

"This is a tremendously exciting but little-known region,"said Locarno chief selector Irene Bignardi.

Bignardi has yet to announce her selection but revealed thatIndian film Black Friday by Anurag Kashya about a 1993 bombing incidenthas been picked for the main competition section.

Other selections to be announced yesterday include a"Leopard of Honour" for Italian film-maker Ermanno Olmi, and the Raimondo Rezzonico Award toGerman-based Italian producer Karl "Baumi" Baumgartner.

Human rights is set to be a theme that runs throughout thefestival, with a new prize that can go to a film from any section of thefestival and a separate focus on women's rights - "basic rights, not women'slib," says Bignardi - with round tables led by Senegalese activist Khadi Koyta.