Colombian film “La Sirga” is up for an award at the 2012 Directors Fortnight, an independent branch of the Cannes International Film Festival, in May.

La Sirga has already sparked good word-of-mouth and swept the awards at Toulouse’s 21st Films in Progress festival, including its main prize, according to Variety magazine.

La Sirga (“towrope” in English) is one of six Latin American films to make the 21-strong 2012 selection and is the first directed by Colombian William Vega.

The plot focuses on a young woman who flees a massacre in her Colombian village, attempting to make a new life in the high Andes at the lakeside La Sirga hostal.

Made in collaboration with France and Mexico, La Sirga will compete for the “Golden Camera” (“Camera d’Or”) prize awarded to the film with the best cinematography.

Hispanic films are due to take center stage at this year’s Fortnight in honor of recently deceased Chilean director Raul Ruiz. His most recent film “The Night in Front” (“La Noche en Frente”) will be premiered in a special tribute session.

“We have seen many good films from Latin America,” said Fortnight artistic director Edouard Waintrop when introducing the 2012 selection to press in Paris.

One of four scheduled debates will focus on Latin American cinema, with Waintrop saying this year’s selection was “more sensitive to Latin American cinema than Asian [films].”

Of the seven Hispanic films to make the list, two are Chilean — Ruiz’s “The Night in Front” and Pablo Larrain’s “No,” a Chilean-American film starring Gael Garcia Bernal. The other five come from Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Spain.

Films from South Korea, China, India, Algeria and Iran, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg are also included in the selection.

The United States was involved in the production of three of this year’s movies, including Michael Gondry’s “The We and I,” which opens the event.

Festival Director Edouard Waintrop said Fortnight, which will take place May 17 to 27, was a festival “distinguished by its independent-mindedness, its non-competitive nature and its concern to cater for a large public.”

Two Colombian films are to be screened at this year’s main event in Cannes — Juan Andres Arango’s “The Beach D.C.” (“La Playa D.C.”) and Jonathan Ceballos’ 2008 short “The Children of the Clouds” (“Los Ahijiados de las Nubes”).