Agua Fria Del Mar (Cold Water of the Sea), a project by Costa Rica's Paz Fabrega, won the first prize of the fourth Buenos Aires Lab (BAL), which ended on Sunday as part of the Buenos Aires Film Festival (BAFICI).

The prize was presented by European cultural TV network Arte and consists of a cash award (Eu5.000) in addition to free production and post-production services.

Other winners at BAL's pitchings and co-productions meetings were Las Malas Intenciones (Bad Intentions), by Peru's Rosario Garcia Montero, and La Belleza, by Argentina's Daniela Seggiaro.

Another three local films were awarded at the Work in Progress section: Una Semana Solos (A Week Alone), by director Celina Murga; Lia Dansker's Retratos del Gauchito Gil (Portraits of Gauchito Gil) and Alejo Hojman's Unidad 25 (Unit 25).

New to the festival is Inter-Cine, an international market for 210 foreign and 420 local distributors, sales agents, festival programmers, directors and producers, which finishes on Friday the same day as BAFICI.

'The balance is very positive,' says Inter-Cine director Diana Casabal. 'Programmers from Locarno, Torino, Rome, Montreal, Tribeca, Biarritz, Fribourg, Telluride and Rio de Janeiro selected local features for their festivals, several Argentinian films were acquired for the US and Europe, and foreign directors, like Catalans Mar Recha and Isaki Lacuesta, signed co-productions agreements to shoot in Argentina later this year,' she explains.

BAFICI will close next Sunday with Esteban Sapir's La Antena (The Aerial) and the award ceremony will be held on Saturday night. Organizers expect to surpass last year's record of 234,000 attendees.