The Xian City Cultural Bureau and Xian-based Qujiang Entertainment Group have announced the launch of the Xian Film Festival for New Talent, which will take place in the ancient Chinese capital in May.

The two organisers also announced a film fund of $12.9m (RMB100m) to support young filmmakers, which will be launched during the festival.

The film festival organisers are now calling for entries. Filmmakers under the age of 35 who have made no more than three films, and had a film released in China in 2006, are eligible to register for the festival.

Preliminary entries for the festival's awards section will be announced in early April and the list of nominations will be announced at the beginning of May. Awards will be presented in three categories: Outstanding Films, Outstanding New Filmmakers and Outstanding Performers.

Film directors Wang Quanan (Tuya's Marriage), Lu Chuan and Jia Zhangke are among the award juries. The awards ceremony will be held on May 13.

Meanwhile, the film fund - the Xian Qujiang Youth Film Fund - aims to sponsor 10 to 30 films. Selected film projects will receive up to $390,000 (RMB3m) for film production.

Set up in 2006 by Xian City Government and headed by filmmaker Wu Tianming, producer of Red Sorghum (1987) and director of Old Well (1986), Qujiang Entertainment Group is a government-owned film entertainment company with the aim to promote the film industry in North-West China.

The group's first film investment is Gu Changwei's drama Spring Begins. Besides film investment, Qujiang Entertainment Group also plans to set up a film studio in Qujiang of Xian City.