Americanfilm-makers are making a return to Rotterdam (Jan 26-Feb 5), with two USfeatures in the running for the VPRO Tiger Awards, announced today.

A total of14 films will compete to become one of the three equal Tiger Award winners,including nine world premieres and two international premieres. Four of the 14were supported by Rotterdam's Hubert BalsFund, while one is a former CineMart project.

The two US features are Robert Edwards' Land Of The Blind, a Rotterdam World Premiere and aUK/US co-production, and Old Joy byKelly Reichardt, making its international premiere atRotterdam. Josh Appignanesi'sEdinburgh title Song Of Songs is another UK film set for the festival.

Other worldpremieres for Rotterdam include Alexis Dos Santos' Glue, from Argentina (Hunert Bals-supported), the Iranian/French co-production The Gaze (Negah),by Sepideh Farsi (a CineMart2000 project), Early In The Morning (Un Matin Bonne Heure,France/Guinea), by Gahite Fofana(Hubert Bals-supported), A Summer Day (Un Jour D'Ete), by France'sFranck Guerin, Han Jie's Walking On The Wild Side (Hubert Bals)and Spain's The Legend Of Time (La Leyenda Del Tiempo) by Isaki Lacuesta.

Roundingout the world premieres are local Dutch title Northern Light, by David Lammers andUruguay/Argentina/Canada/Spain co-production The Dog Pound (La Perrera), also a Hubert Bals-supported production.

The finalTiger competitors are Polish picture OdeTo Joy; Peru's MadeinUSA,by Claudia Llosa, and Taking Father Home, by China's Ying Liang.

This is the 35th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and although its director Sandra Den Hamer had announced a scaleback of 20 percent, the main competition titles remain steady at 14, the same as 2005. She commented: "After a long absence of young Americans in our competition, it is great to now have two very strong candidates from the US. This year also China is represented in Rotterdam with two fresh and energetic debuts. All fourteen films reveal great promise and talent for the future."

The awards,with $10,000 apiece and a guarantee of Dutch TV exposure, will be made onFriday, February 3.


The DogPound (La pererra) by Manuel Nieto Zas (Uruguay/Argentina/Canada/Spain)

Early InThe Morning (Un matin bonne heure) by Gahite Fofana(France/Guinea)

The Gaze (Negah) by Sepideh Farsi (Iran/France)

Glue (Glue (Historia adolescente en medio de la nada)) by Alexis Dos Santos (Argentina).

Land of the Blind by Robert Edwards (UK/US).

The Legendof Time (La leyenda del tiempo) by Isaki Lacuesta (Spain).

Madeinusa by Claudia Llosa(Peru/Spain).

NorthernLight (Langer licht) by David Lammers (The Netherlands, 2006),world premiere.

Ode to Joy(Oda do radosci) byAnna Kazejak-Dawid, & Jan Komasa & Maciej Migas (Poland)

Old Joy by Kelly Reichardt(US)

Song ofSongs by Josh Appignanesi (UK)

A Summer Day (Un Jour D'Ete) by Franck Guerin(France)

TakingFather Home (Bei ya zi de nan hai) by Ying Liang(China)

Walking onthe Wild Side (Lai xiao zi) by Han Jie (China)