Thessaloniki Film Festival director Despina Mouzaki has announced the first films selected for the 14-film competition section of 46th edition of the event (Nov 16-25).

The competition is reserved to first and second features and the films already earmarked have a strong Spanish-language flavour, coming from Mexico, Colombia and Spain.

Titles selected so far are The Year Of The Nail (Ano Una) from Mexico, The Influence (La Influencia) from Spain-Mexico, and the US-Colombia-Greece co-production PVC-1.

Alfonso Cuaron's son Jonas Cuaron makes his directorial debut with The Year Of The Nail, which merges stills photography with the moving image in tender story of young love.

First-time Spanish director Pedro Aguilera's The Influence, produced by Mexican Jaime Romandia's Mantarraya Producciones and co-produced by Carlos Reygadas, is a family psychodrama about a poor single mother.

Spiros Stathoulopoulos, a director born in Thessaloniki and raised in the US and Colombia, shot PVC-1 as a story of terrorism in Colombia. The film consists of one 81-minute take.

Thessaloniki has long had an association with Latin American and Mexican cinema, and past award winners include Carlos Reygadas' Japon, Fernando Eimbcke's Duck Season and Amat Eacalante's Sangre.

In 2005, the festival had an entire programme devoted to the Mexican film industry.

Thessaloniki has also planned special screenings of David Gordon Green's Snow Angels, starring Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell in a story of fragile human relationships in Nova Scotia; and Czech master Jiri Menzel's historical drama I Served The King Of England.