Ibiza fest taps 18 for competition


MADRID -- The inaugural Ibiza and Formentera International Film Festival announced Thursday that it will screen 18 films during its May 29-June 7 run.

The films are divided between six regional sections: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, Africa and co-productions. The winners of each section will compete against each other for the top prize, the Eleanor Falcon.

The European section comprises Juan Carlos Falcon's "La Caja" from Spain, Roberto Ando's "Viaggio Segreto" from Italy and Cristian Nemescu's "California Dreamin'" from Romania.

From Asia, there will be Lee Hyung-gon's "The Fox Family" from Korea, Yibai Zhang's "The Longest Night in Shanghai" from Japan and Mani Ratnam's "Guru" from India.

From the U.S., there will be Steve Barron's "Choking Man," Douglas McGrath's "Infamous" and Richard Linklater's "Fast Food Nation."

Latin America will offer three Argentine productions: Enrique Gabriel's co-production with Spain, "Suspiros del Corazon"; Santiago Otheguy's "La Leon"; and Ariel Winogerad's "Cara de Queso."

On offer from Africa are Laura Muscardin's "Billo le grand dakhaar," from Italy-Senegal, Laurent Salgues' "Dreams of Dust" from France-Canada-Burkina Faso and Salif Traore's "Faro, la reine des eaux," from Mali-France-Burkina Faso.

The co-production section offers Vic Sarin's Canada-South Africa-U.K. effort "Partition," John Irvin's "The Moon and the Stars" from Hungry-Italy-U.K. and Antti-Jussi Annila's "Jade Warrior" from Finland-Holland-China-Estonia.

The new festival, which runs on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza off Spain's northeastern coast, is the product of a group of international filmmakers and is sponsored by local authorities and private investors from the island.

Xavier Benlloch, whose career has weaved through Disney, Warner Bros. and King Features and now runs his own animation company, heads the new initiative, with production service manager Gail Fear as co-director.

Additionally, the Ibiza festival will offer Digital IFF, a digital exhibition/trade fair that will run concurrently with the festival for five days.