The Closer You Get, the eagerly anticipated Irish comedy produced by Full Monty producer Uberto Pasolini, will have its world premiere next Wednesday (Feb 9) as the opening night film of the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado.

The festival, which is sponsored by Cinemax, the sister pay-movie channel to HBO in the US, was launched last year as a discovery programme for independent comedy features, documentaries and shorts.

The Closer You Get, directed by Aileen Ritchie, is the story of a bachelor in a small Irish town who hatches a plot to lure American women to the annual village fair. It stars Ian Hart, Sean McGinley and Niamh Cusack and will open in the US on Feb 25 through Fox Searchlight.

Other screenings in the World Cinema sections include Bill Forsyth's Gregory's Two Girls (UK), David Swann's Crackers (Australia), John Paizs's Top Of The Food Chain (Canada), Krsto Papic's When The Dead Start Singing (Croatia) and Janez Burger's Idle Running (Slovenia).

Pip Karmel's hit Australian comedy Me Myself I will screen on Feb 11 following the Jury Awards.

Ten new comedies will premiere in the American Discovery lineup, including The Independent starring Janeane Garofalo and Jerry Stiller, Playing Mona Lisa produced by Sid Sheinberg and Advice From A Caterpillar based on a play by Douglas Carter Beane.