Top brass at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival have unveiled the 12 contenders for the New Directors Prize and announced the competition documentaries.

The following films and film-makers will vie for the New Directors Prize of $15,000: Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s Alamar (Mexico); Severine Cornamusaz’ Animal Heart (France/Switzerland); Ounie Lecomte’s A Brand New Life (South Korea/France); Philippe van Leeuw’s The Day God Walked Away (France); Esmir Filho’s The Famous And The Dead (Brazil/France); and Tanya Hamilton’s Night Catches Us (USA).

Also in contention are: Rigoberto Perezcano Northless (Mexico/Spain); Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s La Pivellina (Austria/Italy); Oliver Hermanus’ Shirley Adams (South Africa/USA; Rusudan Pirveli’s Susa (Georgia); Nader Takmil Homayoun’s Tehroun (France/Iran); and Che Sandoval’s You Think You’re The Prettiest, But You Are The Sluttiest (Chile).

In addition to these 12 films in competition, the New Directors section includes 15 out-of-competition films, which will be announced on March 30.

Documentary entries in competition, where a total of $60,000 in prize money will be handed out, are: Colonydirected by Ross McDonnell and Carter Gunn (Ireland/USA); The Invention Of Dr Nakamats by Kaspar Astrup Schroder (Denmark); Last Train Home directed by Lixin Fan (Canada/China); Jeff Malmberg’s Marwencol (USA); Mugabe And The White African by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson (England); and Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Macheggiano and Adriana Yurcovich’s The Peddler (Argentina).

Documentary competition entries continue with Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis’ PianoMania (Austria/Germany); Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith’s Presumed Guilty (Mexico); Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s Restrepo (USA, pictured); Olga Konskaya and Andrei Nekrasov’s Russian Lessons (Russia/Norway/Georgia); and Simonal: No One Knows How Tough It Was by Claudio Manoel and Micael Langer (Brazil).

In addition to these 11 documentary features, the Golden Gate Awards also will include competitors in eight other categories. These films will be announced on March 30. The festival is scheduled to run from April 22 - May 6 and the Golden Gate Awards take place on May 5.