Jacques Gerber, assistant programmer of the Cannes Directors' Fortnight, has announced the Quinzaine's intention to launch an international appeal to rescue the Buenos Aires Independent Cinema International Festival, which has lost 80% of its funding.

Over the last three years, director Eduardo Antin (Quintin) has developed the festival into the foremost film event in South America and the stronghold from which the emerging Argentinean cinema has been presented to the world.

Now, as a result of the country's disastrous economic situation, the festival's budget, mainly funded by the government of the city of Buenos Aires, has been drastically slashed: $200,000 dollars of subsidy instead of $1m last year and $100,000 in sponsorship and private partnership compared to $300,000 in 2001.

The appeal, which was announced by Gerber at the Guadalajara Film Festival which ended March 14, calls for donations from other film festivals and international cinema-related organisations to raise at least $100,000 to enable the 4th edition of the event to take place, which is set for April 18-28

The International Film Critics Federation (FIPRESCI)'s Secretary General, Klaus Eder, present in Guadalajara, endorsed the appeal, while both Rotterdam and Thessaloniki film festivals are expected to be amongst the first to commit their support.