Fernando Mereilles' City Of God will open the upcoming Mar del Plata International Film Festival (March 6-15), the oldest film festival in the Americas.

Artistic Co-ordinator Miguel Pereira announced that Meirelles' critically acclaimed film will screen out of competition, as will the selection for the closing night - Spanish director Carlos Saura's Salome.

Spanish actress Assumpta Serna will be president of the official jury. Further confirmed jury members are: Argentine director Carlos Sorin; Brazilian Filmmaker Suzana Amaral; French writer/director Pascal Bonitzer; American director Ulu Grosbard and the Indian-Canadian writer/filmmaker/producer Deepa Mehta.

The 16 films comprising this year's Official Competition this year will be announced shortly.

Other Sections in the Festival are:

Point of View - which will consist of about 18 Films from around the world;
Latin America XXI - a selection of the best work from Latin American countries;
Women and Film - a selection of international Films from female directors;
Near Darkness - a special selection of "dark themed" international movies;
Open Air Screenings - to be enjoyed by a massive crowd on Mar del Plata's warm March nights, by the sea.

Robert Duvall's Assassination Tango (shot in Buenos Aires) will have a special out of competition screening.

Three new sections have been added to the 18th Edition:
Documentary Section - 10 films dealing with social and political issues in a globalized world;
Roots - a map of Spanish Cinema composed by a movie from each autonomous region of Spain
Graduation Films - from the best known film schools around the world.

The Festival will also feature retrospectives, including Nic Roeg, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos and Walter Salles' documentary work.