Mar del Plata, Latin America's only A grade festival, has unveiled its competition line-up for this year's edition, which runs from March 11-20.

Festival head Miguel Pereira has put together a 14-strong line-up that combines titles from established film-makers, a few of which have already appeared at other events out of competition, with a number of discoveries by emerging film-makers.

Many of the films use Latino talent or settings and the competition jury is largely composed of Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese film professionals, which put together with the increased number of events and sidebars devoted to developing links within Spanish and Portuguese-speaking nations, emphasises the festival's desire to be a fulcrum for Latin American and Iberian film-making.

Among those international films shot in Central and Latin America are Lea Pool's Blue Butterfly, which was filmed in the rain forests of Costa Rica, and Kevin Macdonald's Touching The Void, which was partly shot in the Peruvian Andes.

Argentinian films include Adios Querida Luna by Fernando Spiner, whose debut feature Sleepwalker (La Sonambula) won at Havana in 1998, and Leonardo Di Cesare's debut feature Buena Vida Delivery, which was in Rotterdam and was backed by the Hubert Bals Fund. Six other Latin American films feature in the official section, both in and out of competition.

Mar del Plata has also drawn on Berlin film festival's sidebars for its competition selection, which includes Francesca Comencini's I Like To Work (Mobbing) (Mi Piace Lavorare (Mobbing)) and Hilmar Oddsson's Cold Light (Kaldaljos), which both appeared in Berlin's Panorama section, and Benedek Fliegauf's Dealer, which was in the International Forum.

Official Competition:
Adios Querida Luna (Argentina) Fernando Spiner
Buena Vida Delivery (Argentina) Leonardo Di Cesare
The Blue Light (Japan) Yukio Ninagawa
The Carpenter's Pencil (El Lapiz Del Carpintero) (Spain) Anton Reixa
Tristan (France) Philippe Harel
Blue Butterfly (Canada) Lea Pool
Gone (Germany) Zoltan Paul
Konjanik (Croatia) Branko Ivanda
Paper Dove (Paloma de Papel) (Peru) Fabrizio Aguilar
Touching The Void (UK) Kevin Macdonald
Dealer (Hungary) Benedek Fliegauf
I Like To Work (Mobbing) (Mi Piace Lavorare (Mobbing)) (Italy) Francesca Comencini
O Outro Lado Da Rua (Brazil) Marcos Bernstein
Kaldaljos (Iceland) Hilmar Oddsson

Out of Competition:
Carandiru (Brazil) Hector Babenco - Opening Night Gala
Il Cuore Altrove (Italy) Pupi Avati - Closing Night Gala

Dans Le Rouge Du Couchant (France/Spain) Edgardo Cozarinsky
Memoria Del Saqueo (Argentina/Switzerland) Pino Solanas
The Last Embrace (El Abrazo Partido) (Argentina/Germany) Daniel Burman
Segui Le Ombre (Italy) Lucio Gaudino
Suite Habana (Cuba/Spain) Fernando Perez