Critics organization FIPRESCI is teaming up with the the RioInternational Film Festival aka Festival Do Rio to introduce a new FIPRESCIprize for best Latin American film of the year which will be awarded for thefirst time at the festival next year.

The prize, which will be awarded by FIPRESCI members to the filmeach year they deem the most "interesting and inspiring from the Latin Americancontinent", is supported by Brazil's most celebrated director Walter Salles whosent a message to Rio to be read out at the announcement of the new prize. Heis currently shooting his segment of Paris, Je T'Aime in Paris.

"Latin-Americancinema is, along with Asian cinema, one of the most vigorous and creativecinema being made today, both in the area of fiction and documentary," he said"The great reception Argentine, Chilean, Mexican and Uruguayan films arereceiving from both the public and the critics of Brazil shows that we are tooare coming to recognize this good news. The Prize for Best Latin American Filmof the Year, created by FIPRESCI for this occasion, will, we are sure, amplifythis echo not only in Brazil but throughout the Latin American continent."

The announcement was made in Rio by FIPRESCI general secretaryKlaus Eder and Festival Do Rio director Ilda Santaigo. They also presentedArgentinian film-maker Fernando Solanas with a special FIPRESCI LifetimeAchievement Award. Solanas was in Rio with his new film La Dignidad De LosNadies (The Dignity Of Nobodies).