The fifth annual Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (April 16 to 26) will feature up to 210 films, up from 150 last year. At least 16 films - limited to first and second-time directors - are in the official competitive section. These include three titles from Argentina: Celina Murga's Ana Y Los Otros, Ezequiel Acuna's Nadar Solo and Albertina Carri's Los Rubios.

The lone Mexican entry is Carlos Reygadas' Japon. Competing Asian titles include Jealousy Is My Middle Name (Korea), Blissfully Yours (Thailand), Mang Jing (China) and The Rite'A Passion (India). European entries are: Les Joures Ou Je N'Existe Pas (France), Maxima Velocidad (Italy), The Death Of Klinghoffer (UK) and Un Part Du Ciel (Belgium).

While it counted on contributions from the Cannes and Rotterdam festivals to stay afloat when municipal funding dried up last year, this time the young festival has received contributions from the embassies and film institutes of Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Austria, Italy and France. Its operating budget has been raised to $238,907 (Pesos 700,000) from $153,583. (Pesos 450,000) in 2002.

For the first time this year, the European Film Promotion (EFP), with the support of the EU's Media Programme, will have a presence at the festival.