Globe-trottingopera director Peter Sellars is in talks with twocities about the possibility of overseeing further events along the lines ofthe New Crowned Hope Festival, which has already yielded a handful of films competingin Venice and Toronto.

"Theseare the first steps," Sellars commented. "My hope isthat we can repeat this type of initiative."

Whiledetails of any new venture are yet to be confirmed, it looks highly likely thatBritish-based production company Illuminations Films, run by Keith Griffithsand Simon Field, will again be working with Sellars.

Speaking in Veniceyesterday, Sellars heralded New Crowned Hope (NCH) as abold new way of funding and promoting cinema. The NCHFestival, to be held at the end of the year, was initiated and funded by theCity Of Vienna tocelebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. Sellarswas put in charge of commissioning new works in every artistic medium,including film. Several features under the NCH umbrellaare premiering in Venice, amongthem Syndromes And ACentury by Apichatpong Weerasethakul,Dry Season by Mahmat-SalehHaroun, ToSleep Alone by Tsai Ming Liang and Opera Java by GarinNugroho.

"The 21stcentury is asking for a new set of possibilities in distribution," Sellars said. "One of the issues about film festivals isthat a marvellous film will appear for a weekend, people will see it for aweekend and then it will disappear for ever."

Throughinitiatives like NCH, Sellars believe that festival films can be given a longerlife span.

The ideais that festivals will help create (and curate) the work as well as present it.Together with city authorities, they will co-finance and showcase films whichwill then travel from country to country."What I love about New Crowned Hope is that it has created analternative space that has visibility and staying power."

Sellars stated that the New Crowned Hope is alreadyprovoking "some shift within the film festival world."