The 5th edition of the Morelia Film Festival opens onOctober 5 with The Orphanage (El Orfanato), directed by Spanish Juan Antonio Bayona and produced by Guillermo del Toro.

The festivalthis year includesa new competition for first or second-time Mexican film-makers.

The selection is:

  • La Zona, by Rodrigo Pla, which won the Fipresci critics' prize in Toronto
  • Cochochi, by Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman, who also won the Discovery Award in Toronto
  • Cumbia Callera , by Rene Villareal
  • Donde están sus historias', by Nicolás Pereda
  • Quemar las naves, by Francisco Franco
  • Todos los dias son tuyos, by Jose Luis Gutierrez.

Besides the features competition, the festival programme also offers45 short films, 16 Mexican documentaries and nine works from the state of Michoacan, where the festival takes place.

There will be special screenings of Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light, El Pasado, by Argentinian Hector Babenco and Deficit, the directorial debut of Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who also stars in the Babenco feature.

Thespecial guest will beUK film-maker Stephen Frears.

'I met him in London this year. He told me he was very interested on the Mexican talent. He's never been in Mexico ' tells festival director Daniela Michel.

Other guests includeAmerican director and producer Arthur Penn and Bertrand Tavernier.

Mexicanhome premieres include animation La Leyenda Del Nuala, by Ricardo Arnaiz, documentary Un Retrato De Diego, de Diego Lopez and Javier Figueroa, and horror film Hasta el viento tiene miedo, by Gustavo Moheno.

Films showing for the first time inMexico include: The Brave One, by Neil Jordan, Hot Fuzz, by Edgar Wright, I'm not there, by Todd Haynes, The Darjeeling Limited, by Wes Anderson, Rescue Dawn, by Werner Herzog and the Cannes Palm d'Or winner 4 weeks, 3 months and 2 days, by Cristian Mungiu.

The festival includes the films of the Cannes Critic's Week selection like the winner XXY, by Argentinean Lucia Puenzo or Meduzot, by Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret who won the Camera d'Or.

50.000 people attend the festival last year hosted by biggest national exhibitor Cinepolis.