Arab cinema is a majorhighlight of the 19th Singapore International Film Festival (April 13-29) whichwill open with Kiss Me Not On The Eyes,an Egypt-set drama about a female student of poetry and belly dancing byLebanese director Jocelyn Saab.

This year's festivalline-up, announced today, features more than 300 films from 40 countries,including three world premieres, eight international premieres and 15 Asianpremieres.

A special programme called "TheSecret Life of Arabia" consists of a selection of 16 Arab films including Under The Ceilingby Nidal Al-Dibs, The Sleeping Childby Yasmine Kassari, Iraq, My Country- An Exile's ReturnTo Samawa by HadiMahood, A New Day In Old Sana'a byBader Ben Hirsi and Takeharu Watai's LittleBirds.

Another highlight of thisyear's festival is a programme dedicated to new Philippine digital cinema whichpresents eight features and a series of shorts from new independent filmmakerssuch as John Torres, Raya Martin and Ruelo Lozendo to veterans such as Doy DelMundo, Roxlee and Lav Diaz.

This year's edition sees astrong line-up of local Singapore films, with Royston Tan's 4:30 as the closing film and Kelvin Tong's Love Story in competition for the Silver Screen Awards. A total of 11Asian films are competing for the Silver Screen Awards, which will be presentedat a gala on April 28.

Films in competition for the Silver Screen Awards:

Kiss Me Not On The Eyes (Lebanon - Jocelyn Saab)
Love Story (Singapore - Kelvin Tong)(world premiere)
Todo Todo Teros (Philippines - JohnTorres (world premiere)
Men At Work (Iran - Mani Haghighi)(int'l premiere)
Pepot Superstar (Philippines - Clodualdodel Mundo Jr) (int'l premiere)
Gie (Indonesia - Riri Riza)
After The Night'Dawn (India - SandipRay)
Indio Nacional (Philippines - Raya Martin)
Under The Ceiling (Syria - NidalAl-Dibs)
It's Only Talk (Japan - RyuichiHiroki)
Taking Father Home (China - YingLiang)