Sundance Film Festival organisers are raising the profile ofinternational films with the introduction in 2005 of the World CinemaCompetition, which will present two awards alongside the Independent FeatureFilm Competition for US independents.

Jury prizes will be awarded to the best of 16 entries in theWorld Cinema Dramatic Competition and the best of 12 titles in the World CinemaDocumentary Competition.

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

International films not selected for competition will beeligible to screen in the Premiere, Park City at Midnight and Frontier strands.

"The continuing mission of the Sundance Film Festival is tohighlight new American Independent cinema and to introduce US audiences andindustry to new trends in international film," festival director GeoffreyGilmore said in a statement.

"By creating a competition for international films we areadding a platform to acknowledge emerging film-makers who are making an impacton the independent film community.

"The competition provides an opportunity to recognisesignificant films like Central Station,Bus 174, Whale Rider, and Run LolaRun - all of which screened as US premieres at the festival - for theirquality and creativity."

The World Cinema Competition is open to feature-lengthnarrative and documentaries, which must have been completed after October 2003and must be at minimum a US premiere, though it is understood the festival isactively seeking world premieres.

Dramatic films must be more than 70 minutes long anddocumentaries more than 50 minutes.