New sidebars featuring Indian film-makers and a back to its roots examination of digital film-making, underline the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)'s commitment to cinema at the artistic end of the scale.

The festival (Jan 22- Feb 2) has picked Indian director Girish Kasaravalli for retrospective treatment in its regular "Film-maker In Focus" section. He joins previously announced tributes to France's Jean-Claude Brisseau and Canada's Guy Maddin. Kasaravalli has directed nine features in India's Kannada language and will present his latest effort The Island (Dweepa).

The festival's "True Stories" section will present film-makers and visual artists who currently experimenting with new ways of incorporating personal perspectives on social and political issues in ways which bypass conventional documentary formats or themes. Directors include new titles by Abbas Kiarostami (Ten), Peter Mettler (Gambling, Gods And LSD), Chris Petit (London Orbital), Kawase Noami (Letter From A Yellow Cherry Blossom) and Ulrike Ottinger (Southeast Passage). The programme introduces new talents including Kevin Jerome Everson (US), Kiko Goifman (Brazil), Zhong Hua (China) and Alina Marazzi (Italy).

Rotterdam's "Exploding Cinema" section looks at new media and presents concepts of energy, dynamics, movement and immobility with a special show by US performance artist Claude Wampler featuring Les Amants Du Pont Neuf star Denis Lavant.

Later this week, Rotterdam will unveil details of its Tiger and Amnesty International prize juries, the opening night events which will be linked with The Netherlands' legislative elections taking place the same day and proposals for the "Rotterdam Parliament", a one day conference on artistic cinema.