The 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will openon Jan 5 with a screening of Terrence Malick's The New World. The closing night gala will beannounced shortly.

Festival director Darryl Macdonald and his team unveiled a line-upof 232 titles chosen from 70 countries yesterday [Wednesday], including fourworld, 51 US and 31 North American premieres.

Fifty-one of the 56 Academy Award best foreign-languagesubmissions will screen, in keeping with the festival's annual tradition ofshowing most of the submissions.

The New World is one of seven gala screenings, which also include BrenoSilveira's Brazilian hit Two Sons Of Francisco, Valerie Lemercier's Palais Royal! from France, and Cristina Comencini's Don'tTell from Italy.

The line-up includes Awards Buzz featuring the foreign languagesubmissions as well as this season's leading awards contenders, Cine Latino,which this year spotlights Chile, and a new section called Focus Italy thatwill screen 13 pictures including six from Pupi Avati.

Other highlights include non-fiction features, World Cinema Now,and the late-night genre strand Super-Charged Cinema.

The festival will present two juried competitions this year: theNew Voices/New Visions Award honouring one of 12 features from new internationaltalents making their first or second films, and the John Schlesinger Award forOutstanding First Feature or Documentary.

As previously announced the festival's annual awards gala on Jan 7will honour David Cronenberg with the Visionary Award, Jake Gyllenhaal with theDesert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, and Terrence Howard with the Rising StarAward.

Michael London will receive the Producer of the Year Award,Shirley MacLaine will collect the Lifetime Achievement Award, Thomas Newmanwill receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing, and Charlize Theronwill collect the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress.

The festival will run from Jan 5-16. For more information visitthe official website at