Argentina has submitted Marcelo Pineyro's Kamchatka to compete for a best foreign film Oscar. Kamchatka beat strong contenders led by Carlos Sorin's Historias Minimas, Adolfo Aristarain's Lugares Comunes and Pablo Trapero's El Bonaerense.

Trapero's gritty police drama played successfully in Cannes' Un Certain Regard while Lugares Comunes and Historias Minimas took home major awards from San Sebastian in September.

This is not Pineyro's first shot at Oscar gold. In 1997, his police thriller, Ashes From Paradise, co produced by Buena Vista, was entered but did not make the final shortlist.

Kamchatka centres on the viewpoint of a 10 year old living under General Pinochet's military dictatorship in the 70s. Ricardo Darin, who was the lead star in last year's nominee Son Of The Bride, and Cecilia Roth who starred in Pedro Almodovar's Oscar-winning All About My Mother, play his parents.

Meanwhile, the country's premiere film festival, Mar del Plata, has just changed its artistic coordinator. Filmmaker Miguel Pereira replaces film critic Claudio Espana who held the position for two years. Argentine film institute (INCAA) director Jorge Coscia made the switch because of conflicts with Espana over the 18th edition, slated for March 6 to 15 next year.

Coscia plans to redesign the festival programming and to allot a budget of $414,364. (1.5m pesos).