Sundance FilmFestival organisers are raising the profile of international films with theintroduction in 2005 of the World Cinema Competition, which will present twoawards alongside the Independent Feature Film Competition for US independents.

Jury prizes willbe awarded to the best of 16 entries in the World Cinema Dramatic Competitionand the best of 12 titles in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

The 2005Sundance Film Festival is scheduled to run in Park City, Utah, from Jan 20-30.

Internationalfilms not selected for competition will be eligible to screen in the Premiere,Park City at Midnight and Frontier strands.

"The continuingmission of the Sundance Film Festival is to highlight new American Independentcinema and to introduce US audiences and industry to new trends ininternational film," festival director Geoffrey Gilmore said in a statement.

"By creating acompetition for international films we are adding a platform to acknowledgeemerging film-makers who are making an impact on the independent filmcommunity.

"The competitionprovides an opportunity to recognise significant films like Central Station,Bus 174, Whale Rider, andRun Lola Run - all ofwhich screened as US premieres at the festival - for their quality andcreativity."

The World CinemaCompetition is open to feature-length narrative and documentaries, which musthave been completed after October 2003 and must be at minimum a US premiere,though it is understood the festival is actively seeking world premieres

Dramatic filmsmust be more than 70 minutes long and documentaries more than 50 minutes.