The 21st Mar del Plata Film Festival has attracted morethan 100.000 spectators in its first seven days, confirming its place as LatinAmerica's leading film event.

The Argentinian festival, running until next Sunday, hasalso seen an unprecedentedly large number of international guests; Tim Robbins,Susan Sarandon, Michael Winterbottom, Abel Ferrara and Juliette Binoche areamong the big names who have actively participated in the festival so far.

The $1.5m (Pesos 4.5m) film event is also hosting thesecond annual Mercosur Film Market (MFM).

International companies attending this year includeLatido (Spain), Bavaria (Germany), HBO, New Line and Warner Bros. (USA).

Some of Argentina's most renowned directors such as ArielRotter, Alejandro Chomski and Pablo Reyero are bringing their new projects onoffer to international partners and financiers at the Co-Production Forum,which includes other works in progress from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela,Peru, Uruguay and Bolivia.

A total of 170 features and 61 shorts are being screenedthis year in the festival and the MFM.

The official jury composed of Polish director KrzysztofZanussi, Spanish actress Assumpta Serna, local filmmaker Fabian Bielinsky, Germaneditor Juliane Lorenz, Viennale director Hans Hurch, Mexican scriptwriter PazAlicia Garciadiego, and Argentinian-born, France-based director Eduardo deGregorio will announce the competition winners next Saturday.