Argentina's Mar del Plata International Film Festival will push ahead this year despite the country's deep economic crisis. 'We need to keep the festival going even more than ever, it would be a shame if it lost its A-list festival status as a result of its cancellation, ' said festival director Claudio Espana. Working under the lowest budget ever granted to it ($450,000 (900,000 pesos) ), the festival plans to focus on films alone and do away with parties, the red carpet and additional entertainment during the opening and closing ceremonies. The festival aims to screen 150 movies in the various sections.

Now on its 17th edition, Mar del Plata will open on March 7th with Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenembaums and close March 16th with the world premiere of Argentinean director Sergio Renan's urban drama shot in Spain, La Soledad Era Esto. Renan's La Tregua , released in 1974, was Argentina's first Oscar nominated picture.

Francis Ford Coppola's director's cut Apocalyse Redux will lead the out-of -competition official section. This year will include a homage to one of the most prominent Argentinean directors, Leopoldo Torre Nilson. A retrospective of his work will include Once Upon A Tractor, made in 1965 for the United Nations and aired on US television that year. Another retrospective titled 'Stories of the Revolution - Political Cinema of Latin America in the 60s and 70s' will feature the works of such notable Latin American directors as Fernando Solanas, Raymundo Gleyzer, Gerardo Vallejo, Jorge Sanjines, Raul Ruiz, Fernando Birri, Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Miguel Littin, Glauber Rocha, Nemesio Juarez and Helvio Soto.

Traditional Mar del Plata festival sidebars will be on offer, led by Punto de Vista (Point of View), La Mujer y El Cine (Women and Cinema) America Latina XXI (Latin America XXI) Retrospectives, and Pantalla Al Aire Libre (Open Air Cinema) as well as workshops and seminars.