Threefilms have been shortlisted for the British Film Institute (bfi)'s SutherlandTrophy.

Selectedby a jury from ten nominated titles, the shortlist comprises Innocence,a haunting story of a girls' school from French director Lucile Hadsihalilovic;Tarnation, a psychedelic memoir from American director JonathanCaouette; and Thirst, an account of isolation and struggle byPalestinian director Tawfik Abu Wael.

Awarded tothe director of the most original and imaginative first feature film screenedat The Times bfi London Film Festival, the Trophy will be presented at theFestival's closing night gala on 4 November.

A showcaseof new talent, the Sutherland Trophy was first presented in 1957 Last year theaward was presented to Siddiq Barmak for Osama.

Thisyear's jury included Damon Wise (Empire); Ben Roberts (UniversalPictures International); Maeva Gatineau (Miramax Films); Natascha Wharton(Working Title); Helen Hawkins (Sunday Times); artist Jeremy Deller;writer Louise Welsh and from The Times bfi London Film Festival artisticdirector Sandra Hebron and programmer Michael Hayden.