Argentina's leading film event, Mar del Plata is this year increasing its focus on Latin America's new talent with a cash prize of $50,000 for the best film in a new competition section for first and second features to run parallel to the official competition.

The Latin American competition will feature films from Brazil (including Karim Ainouz's Suely In The Sky), Mexico (Francisco Vargas' The Violin); Cuba (Jorge Luis Sanchez's El Benny) and Paraguay, among others.

Among the titles selected for the main competition are Albert Serra's Honour Of The Knights (Spain), Marina Spada's As The Shadow (Italy) and Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr's Ten Canoes (Australia).

The $1.8m film festival will screen 300 titles. There will be a gala tribute to the late local directors Fabian Bielinsky and Eduardo Mignogna, a retrospective of Aardman's works, a focus on Afro-American cinema with Charles Burnett, and selections of new Italian films and auteur movies from the Maghreb.