Argentina's leading production company Patagonik Film Group, in Berlin with Panorama entry Kamchatka, has a strong start to 2003, with a six-title slate of feature films.

The three-way joint venture - between Buena Vista International, Spain's Admira and Argentina's Clarin Group - is in the process of selecting a director to shoot the winning screenplay from its second annual scriptwriting contest.

Written by Pablo Lago and Susana Cardozo and titled Pulenta, the story turns on interracial relations in Buenos Aires' bustling immigrant district.

The contest's first winning screenplay became the international hit Nine Queens (Nueve Reinas), remake rights to which were acquired this week by Steven Soderbergh.

Patagonik's Octavio Nadal says the company is currently shooting two films. Starring Aitana Sanchez-Gijon (I Am Not Afraid) and Leonardo Sbaraglia (Intacto), The Whore And The Whale (La Puta Y La Ballena) is a Euros 3m co-production with Spain's Wanda Vision from Oscar-winning director Luis Puenzo (The Official Story), who also co-produces.

Bandana, the fictionalized tale of five girls who form a rock band, stars the winners of the local version of reality TV show Pop Stars. BVI will release the film in Argentina in May.

In March, shooting will get underway on women's road movie Cleopatra, a co-production with Telefe and Spain's Alquimia starring Norma Aleandro and Natalia Oreiro.

Other forthcoming projects include Eduardo Mignona's A Day In Paradise (Un Dia En El Paraiso), and Beda Docampo Feijoo's Deadly In Love (Muertos De Amor) starring Leticia Bredice (Nine Queens). In post-production is Alberto Lecchi's Arcibel's Game (El Juego De Arcibel) starring Dario Grandinetti (Talk To Her).