The Mar del Plata International Film Festival - the oldest film festival in the Americas, will take place next year between March 6 and 15. Originally established in 1954, the 2003 edition will be the sixth since its re-launch.

The Argentine INCAA (Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales) has appointed writer/director Miguel Pereira as artistic co-ordinator, and he is in the process of putting together a line-up of films from around the world. Pereira's credits include La Deuda Interna (Veronico Cruz) and La Ultima Siembra (The Last Harvest).

"As everyone knows, Argentina is in the throes of a serious economic crisis, but, artistically, and particularly in the film world here, things are really buzzing," said Miguel Pereira. "Argentine film-makers are producing great work, which is being seen and celebrated around the world. I want the Mar del Plata Festival to reflect this renewed energy. I aim to bring the very best Latin American and international cinema to Argentina, and re-establish Mar del Plata as the most important and influential Festival in the area."

Currently set for retrospectives are:

Director Nicolas Roeg, based around a 30th. Anniversary screening of Don't Look Now, with Roeg selecting five of his other films to screen at the Festival.

Brazilian icon Nelson Pereira Dos Santos, founder of his country's neo-realist movement, will attend the Festival's major retrospective of his work.

In addition, Mar del Plata plans to show the documentary work of Walter Salles.

As well as the retrospectives, the Festival will consist of the Official Competition, and several other sections, including Point of View (for some 20 films from around the world), Women and Cinema (a selection of international films from female directors), and America Latina XX1 (a selection of the best work from Latin American countries). In addition, Pereira plans a section dedicated to documentaries and one for the best graduation films from the best known film schools around the world.