A new German film prize, the E-Motion Bytes Award, which was launched in January by the Hof Film Days and the Berlin-based production company Road Movies, for digitally-produced shorts of up to 10 minutes in length, has had its first awards event postponed from this year's festival (October 24-28) until 2002.

In a press communique, Road Movies explained that it had "detected great differences in the quality of the short films" and found that "only an insufficient number of the submitted films throw light on the current situation of digital filmmaking or demonstrate all sorts of possibilities in digital cinema".

Originally, it had been planned to present two awards - each worth $4,600 (DM 10,000) to be invested in the filmmaker's next project - during this year's festival: a Jury Award (selected by an expert jury) and an Internet Audience Award (decided by voters viewing the films posted on Road Movies' website).

Meanwhile, actor-director Bernd Michael Lade's Null Uhr Zwoelf will open this year's festival which is set to have a particularly strong local German presence with 30 new features and 20 shorts showing.

Among the filmmakers coming to Hof are Christian Petzold (Toter Mann), Hans Christoph Blumenberg (Planet Der Kannibalen), Horst Sczerba (Herz), Jeanine Meerapfel (Anna's Summer), Gordian Maugg (Zutaten Fuer Traume) and Marc Rothemund (Die Hoffnung Stirbt Zuletzt). Moreover, the actress Nicolette Krebitz, who appears in Bandits and The Tunnel, will be in Hof with her directorial debut Jeans.

In addition, the omnibus series Denk Ich An Deutschland - with contributions by Peter Lilienthal, Leander Haussmann, Peter Patzak, Fatih Akin and Klaus Lemke - will give five personal views of contemporary Germany, while an extensive programme of German shorts will include Maren Ade's Vegas, Birgit Lehmann's Alles Fuer Den Hund and Caroline Otterbach's Fuck The Pigs.

Among the German premieres of international films programmed are Peter Cattaneo's Lucky Break, Richard Linklater's Waking Life, Pan Nalin's Samsara, Ken Loach's The Navigators, Mike Figgis' The Hotel and Larry Clark's Bully.