World premieres of films by UK directors Martin Wallace and Zam Salim are in the lineup of the 60th anniversary edition of the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg which kicked off on Wednesday (9) with the international premiere of Reynir Lyngdal’s Our Own Oslo.

The International Discoveries sidebar will present Wallace’s feature debut Small Creatures, which was made almost single-handedly over the course of two years, and Salim’s existentialist drama Up There as well as the international premiere of Javier van de Couter’s Mia (Argentina), the European premiere of Alrick Brown’s Kinyarwanda (Rwanda), and German premieres of Birgitte Staermose’s Room 304 (Denmark) and Gao Xiongije’s Wangliang’s Ideal (China), among others.

The 15 titles selected for this year’s International Competition and to be judged by Iranian-born filmmaker Granaz Moussavi, film funder Frederique Westhoff and German director Hans-Christoph Blumenberg

include Darragh Byrne’s Parked (Ireland), Baban Shirinsefat’s Walking On The Rail (Iran), Lucian Georgescu’s The Phantom Father (Romania), Paula Hernandez’s One Love (Argentina) and Bartosz Konopka’s Fear Of Falling (Poland).

In addition, there will be special screenings of such films as Lech Majewski’s The Mill And The Cross (Poland-Sweden) – which opened the Filmfestival Cottbus last week – plus Marc Munden’s Some Dogs Bite (UK) and Linda Wendel’s Miss Julie (Denmark).

Festival director Michael Kötz and his team have put together a number of special programmes to celebrate the festival’s long tradition of supporting newcomers.

Two programmes will showcase films previously shown at the festival in the past six decades, Titles include Jim Jarmusch’s Permanent Vacation, Alexander Kluge’s Yesterday’s Girl, Atom Egoyan’s Next Of Kin, Jiri Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains, Wim Wenders’ Summer In The City and Rafi Pitts’ The Fifth Season.

In total, the festival will present 64 features across five programmes.

German director Andreas Dresen will receive the Master Of Cinema Award on Thursday evening (0) before a screening of his 2009 film Whisky With Vodka. The festival will also show Dresen’s short Zug In Die Ferne, which won three prizes at Mannheim in 1990, and his 1992 feature Stilles Land.

A week later on Nov 16, veteran film producer Karl “Baumi“ Baumgartner will become the latest recipient of the Filmkulturpreis Mannheim-Heidelberg, awarded to institutions, companies or individuals who have rendered outstanding services to German film culture.