The mystery film that openedJames Hewison's sixth and final Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)tonight turned out to be writer/director Murali K Thalluri's 2:37, which screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

Hewison wanted audiences tohave the rare experience of going to a film they knew nothing about, an ideathat was sparked by a conversation he had last year with MIFF patron, the actorGeoffrey Rush. He was richly rewarded for taking the risk by breaking therecord for the fastest-selling opening night in history.

Adelaide-based Thalluri,whose mentor is Rolf de Heer (Ten Canoes),was just 19 years of age when he started shooting the suicide-themed drama setin a high school. He says his second film is now fully financed at a level muchbigger than 2:37's $833,000 (A$1.1m) budget and it is likely to shootin the US from early next year.

It will again involvecinematographer Nick Matthews, who helped him produce his debut film, and thethird producer, Kent Smith.

But Thalluri is choosing tobe nearly as mysterious about the story, financiers and distribution partnersas Hewison was about his opening night film. He would say, however, that he isbeing careful to show he can make a diverse range of films - he turns 22 yearsof age next week and has written a number of scripts.

"I don't want to be likeLarry Clark and make four or five films about teenagers'it is important to showone's diversity."