The 9th Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI) will kick off tomorrow with plans to show 470 features and shorts in 13 days.

The Event will open with two films running out of competition: Mauritian Abderrahmane Sissako's Bamako and Argentinian Ariel Rotter's Berlinale double award-winning El Otro.

The Festival will host the first edition of Inter-Cine, an international market for distributors, sales agents, buyers, festival programmers and producers, running April 4-13.

'This space has been created to promote cultural and commercial exchange between the local industry and foreign investors,' Inter-Cine director Diana Casabal told A total of 422 local professionals and more than 150 international guests have been accredited so far. The market will feature 215 local films (finished or in production) shot from 2005 until 2007.

Buenos Aires Lab (BAL), the Latin-American co-production market which launched Lisandro Alonso's Los Muertos, Rodrigo Moreno's El Custodio and Paz Encina's Hamaca Paraguaya, will run April 6-8.

In its fourth edition, new partners include the Locarno Film Festival and the European production networks Eave and Cocktail, among others. BAL 2007 will host a Co-Production Forum with one-to-one meetings between 21 Latin American filmmakers previously selected and potential financiers sources from the rest of the world, pitchings for cash awards, and a Work in Progress session for eight Argentinian films currently filming or in post-production,

A jury composed of Maxine Baker, Francesco Di Pace, Roman Gutek, Robert Koehler, Frederic Maire, Marc Recha and Pablo Trapero will award four prizes from a selection of 20 first and second films running in the international competition.

BAFICI also added a $50,000 cash award to a 10-strong competition for young Argentinian film-makers.

An impressive list of 35 local features will have their premiere during the festival, including new works by renowned directors such as Fernando Solanas, Martin Rejtman, Esteban Sapir, Pablo Reyero, Raul Perrone, Andres Di Tella and Sandra Gugliotta.

This year's focus and retrospectives are dedicated to the works of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Sadie Benning, Peter Whitehead, Jem Cohen, Luc Moullet, D. A. Pennebaker, Lionel Soukaz, Piotr Dumala, Jacques Tati, Frank Zappa, Hugo Fregonese and Pawel Pawlikowski.

Guy Maddin, Abderrahmane Sissako, Tom Waits, Rafi Pitts, Geraldine Chaplin, Vincenzo Marra, Don Pennebaker, Catherine Martin, Lynne Sachs and Claire Simon are among the international guests expected to attend.

BAFICI organizers expect to surpass last year's record of 234,000 attendees.