Films from Wong Kar-Wai, Richard Linklater and Michael Apted areamong 265 titles that will screen at this year's 2003 Palm SpringsInternational Festival of Short Films, which runs in its new late slot of Sept16-22.

The opening night will feature six award-winning shorts includingEric Armstrong's best animated Oscar winner The ChubbChubbs! (US), Glendyn Ivin's Palme d'Or winner CrackerBag (Australia) and JuanSolanas' The Man Without A Head (France), which won the Cannes International Film Festival juryprize.

Selections have been organised into 42 programmes of roughly 90minutes each, covering such themes as celebrities in shorts, father and sonrelationships, Latin experience, gay and lesbian lifestyles, literary adaptationsand musical shorts.

Wong Kar-Wai's 6 Days will screen in the Quick Flicks From Feature Director Prosstrand, alongside Richard Linklater's Live From Shiva's Dance Floor, Michael Apted's Lipstick and Kenneth Branagh's Listening.

The Stargazing programme features star turns from Hilary Swank in TheSpace Between, PattyDuke in Wrong Turn,Ewan McGregor in Solid Geometry and Paul Rudd and Zoey Deschanel in House Hunting, among others.

"The films selected forthis year's festival cross the boundaries and push the limits of the standardfilm-making process in all aspects from characters, narration, editing,cinematography and costume design," director of programming Thomas Ethan Harrissaid in a statement.

"I feel that the directors of short films are working harder toexpress themselves more purely and originally than they have in the past."

The shorts were selected from what organisers said was a recordamount of more than 2,000 worldwide titles, up 33% rise on last year.

Five industry professionals will sit on the jury and award nineprizes worth $14,000 including best animation, best documentary, best liveaction, best of festival and an audience choice award.

First place winners will automatically become eligible forconsideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a possibleAcademy Award nomination.