Former Diagonale co-director Christine Dollhofer has been recruited as the director of a new festival entitled "Crossing Europe - Linz Film Festival" which will be held in the Austrian city of Linz from 4-9 May 2004 and dedicated to contemporary, innovative European cinema.

Speaking to, Dollhofer explained that the event would "focus on new European films reflecting a continent undergoing change and addressing social and political issues. The festival will also want to present a crossing of borders between different genres and aesthetics."

An official "European Cinema Competition" section with 8-10 feature films or documentaries will focus on the works of young directors "who pursue innovative filmmaking, open up perspectives for future European cinema and also deal thematically with the Europe of the present".

A "Panorama" section will feature the Austrian premieres of important films from other festivals as well as regional showcases and special tributes. A showcase organised in collaboration with the Czech Documentary Film Festival will be dedicated in Crossing Europe's first edition to young Czech documentaries.

In addition, the "Local Artists - Atelier" sidebar will offer a platform for the local filmmaking scene in Linz and Upper Austria and the work of the avant-garde artist Siegfried A. Fruhauf.

As Dollhofer pointed out, the first Crossing Europe "will begin small as it is a pilot festival. However, it is planned as a long-term project because the city and the federal state see this as a chance to make Upper Austria known as a region that supports cinema."

Moreover, the launch of the festival next year will used as a further argument for the nomination of the city of Linz as the European Capital of Culture in 2009.