In an attempt to boost the profile of smaller films in Mexico, a new arthouse screen has opened at the Alliance Francaise in the capital. Touted as the first of its kind, Cine Francia will screen a variety of indie films giving special exposure to French and Mexican product.

Founding partners Nicolas Piccato, Valentine Laforet and Diego Hernandez aim to make the specialized screen an answer to the predominance of studio product among Mexico's nearly 3,000 screens.

"There is now an average of 10 new releases per week in Mexico and a greater number of prints per film," said Piccato, who is also the manager of local independent distributor Latina Films. "Smaller films can barely make it," he adds.

Jean Luc Godard's A Bout De Souffle kicked off the new screen in October and leads a retrospective on French cinema. Another programme will focus on the golden age of Mexican cinema (1945 to 1960).

Tickets at Cine Francia will cost less than the average $4.5 (45 pesos) at Mexican cinemas. They will range from the standard 35 pesos to a reduced price of 25 pesos for students and senior citizens.