( dpa )- The Berlin Film Festival is coming, and once again the new Latin American cinema is present with a plentiful and varied selection of works.
A majority are from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, the countries in the region which have offered most of the innovative productions and obtained most prizes in international festivals since the 1990s.
Indeed, these three countries have a long cinema tradition with changes to the law and access to new digital technology helping young movie makers - with extremely low budgets and minimum equipment - to emerge.
This in turn has brought fresh material to the movie industry with the new younger generation of filmmakers searching out new ideas which often contrast with the sentimentalism and the conservatism that characterized the earlier days of movie making in the region.
The result of these changes is films which vary enormously in both themes and style. They have had great success, especially among critics and avid cinema fans, although they continue to have trouble to reach the broader public.
Mexican film will follow up Stellet Licht (Silent Night), by Carlos Reygadas , which last year won the Jury Prize at Cannes - with Lake Tahoe by young Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke . Lake Tahoe is competing for top honours in Berlin, the Golden Bear.
Eimbcke - who caused a stir years ago with his first feature, Temporada de patos (Duck Season), focused on characters who were bored on a Sunday in a Mexico City apartment - now tells the story of a 16-year-old boy who must confront the sudden death of his father.
But there is more Mexican cinema in other sections in Berlin. Juan Manuel Sepulveda's La frontera infinita (The Infinite Border), centred on migration, will be shown at the International Forum of New Cinema.
A joint US-Mexican production, Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer - set in a future with closed international borders and which has just been distinguished at Sundance - will also be screened at the Filmstills Panorama section.
Brazil - which last year took the Berlin Special Jury Prize with Cao Hamburger's O ano em que meus pais sairam de ferias (The Year My Parents Went on Vacation) - will present the latest work by Jose Padilha , who is in the running for the Golden Bear with the police drama Tropa de elite (Elite Troops).
Padilha's film portrays the brutality of a commando group that patrols the South American country's slums, or favelas , in the fight against drug gangs. Some 10 million people have already watched it in Brazil, where it stirred controversy and where some critics described it "fascistic.
The recent growing international recognition of Brazilian cinema has been in particular thanks to Walter Salles (Central do Brasil , or Central Station) and Fernando Meirelles ( Cidade de Deus, City of God).
The Panorama section, which showcases independent and art-house cinema, in Berlin will screen another Brazilian full-length feature, Mare, nossa historia de amor (Mare, Our Love Story), by Lucia Murat - the only veteran in this festival among the Latin American directors - and the short film Ta by Felipe Sholl .
Argentina, which has recently won awards in Berlin with Rodrigo Moreno's El Custodio (The Bodyguard) and Ariel Rotter's El Otro (The Other), is not competing with a feature film this year, but it will be represented by the short film Nadie (Nobody), actress Belen Blanco's debut as a director.
The Panorama section will show La rabia (The Rage), the latest from Albertina Carri . Films like Los Rubios (The Blonds) and Geminis (Gemini) earned the director a spot in the new generation of Argentine film-makers, alongside the better-known Lisandro Alonso, Lucrecia Martel and Pablo Trapero .
In La rabia , Carri takes the camera to the countryside, to talk about "land violence, about how countryside people become the land," as she herself explained.
Panorama will also show the documentary El cafe de los maestros, focused on the old guard of tango music.