The worldpremiere of Pearse Elliott's The Mighty Celt will open the DublinInternational Film Festival on February 11, it was announced at the programmelaunch this week (Jan 26).

Elliottpreviously wrote Man About Dog, also produced by Treasure Entertainment,which was the highest earning local film at the Irish box office last year.

The Dublinprogramme of 90 features from 34 countries will close on February 20 with WesAnderson's The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.

Other local productions being shown in the festival's'Irish Cinema Showcase' include the world premiere of Fintan Connolly'sromantic drama Trouble With Sex, LeBrocquy/Fraser Productions' follow upto Osama, the Afghan emigration drama Story Undone (Dastan Natamam),Terry Loane's Edinburgh crowd-pleaser Mickybo and Me, and a topical andedgy drama about illegal immigrants in Dublin, Capital Letters, writtenand directed by Ciaran O'Connor.

The programme also offers seasons devoted to thecontemporary national cinemas of Canada and Denmark and a regional focus,'Asian Horizons', with new films from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea andThailand.

Otherstrands in the programme include a retrospective of the work of Italiandirector Gianni Amelio, a documentary season, and a strong representation ofcurrent American independent film making in 'States of Independence', whichincludes Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin, Todd Solondz's Pallindromes,Nicole Cassel's The Woodsman, and John Curran's We Don't Live HereAnymore.

Specialevents include a short programme of films marking Tartan Films' 21 years inbusiness and an interview with Tartan founder Hamish McAlpine, hosted byfestival director Michael Dwyer and followed by a screening of recent Tartanacquisiton, Andrew and Jeremy Get Married, directed by Tartan co-founderDon Boyd.

Otherhighlights include several local industry interview and panel discussion eventsand a screening of Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs in the presence of thedirector and lead actor, Kieran O'Brien.

Songs has beenpassed for exhibition in Ireland and intense local press interest in the filmis likely to create crowd control issues for the festival screening on February12.