The 22nd Singapore International Film Festival (April 14-25) will open with Sincerely Yours from debuting Taiwanese feature director Rich Lee. The film explores the plight of illegal foreign workers in Taiwan with a multi-national cast.

The festival will close with Milk from Turkey, a 'quietly stunning and poetic film about the relationship between a milkman and his mother' according tothe festival.

In total the festival will screen 193 films from 34 countries including 25 world premieres and 34 Asian premieres. It is also launching the inaugural Singapore Film Awards to encourage local filmmakers. The competition nominated ten local films, several in multiple categories.

SIFF is also showcasing in the Silver Screen Awards competition several first or second feature films by Asian directors, including Singaporean Alec Tok's A Big Road.

The Singapore Panorama section includes new features and shorts from filmmakers such as Boo Junfeng, Sun Koh and Jason Lai, and debut feature film Invisible Children from the prolific multimedia artist Brian Gothong Tan.

SIFF is also adding two tributes honouring 25 Years of the Thai National Film Archive and the Amos Gitai Retrospective from the Israeli filmmaker will include his latest One Day You'll Understand (2008) and Disengagement (2007), starring Juliette Binoche.

Festival director Wahyuni A Hadi commented: 'The role of a film festival is to provide a cultural and social context to the films being screened. During this year's festival, we are presenting films from as far back as the twenties. It is important to mark the beginnings of cinema culture while also charting future directions.'

Festival guests this year include Amos Gitai, Zhang Yuan, Russell Wong, Ananda Everingham and Nicholas Saputra.

The line-up also includes Still Walking, the new film from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (Nobody Knows), andDada's Dance from Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yuan. Fans of Robert Pattinson from the vampire hit Twilight can catch him in How To Be, directed by British filmmaker Oliver Irving, while Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe will be seen in Fireflies In The Garden which premiered at the Berlinale.

SIFF is also introducing open-air and late night weekend screenings to bring in more audiences.