Rio to kick off with ‘Baker Street’

Fest includes 30 productions from France

RIO DE JANEIRO — Billed as Latin America’s largest film fest, Festival do Rio opens today with the preem of “O Xango de Baker Street,” from Brazil’s Miguel Farias.

Some 150,000 attendees are expected to see 400 films, mostly features, in 30 theaters around Rio de Janeiro. Five local features, five local docus and 10 shorts will compete for cash prizes to be awarded by audience vote.

The fest includes 30 productions from France, among them Jean Pierre Jeunet’s “Amelie From Montmartre,” Jean-Luc Godard’s “Eloge de L’Amour” and Eric Rohmer’s “The Lady and the Duke” (L’Anglaise et le Duc).

Other highlights are career retrospectives of Italian director Francesco Rosi and local producer Luiz Carlos Barreto and a smorgasbord of 18 features from seven Spanish-lingo Latin American countries.

For the third year, the fest will include an industry business seminar, held at the Copacabana Palace hotel.

Invited guests include feature helmers Todd Solondz, who will screen “Storytelling”; Susan Seidelman, “Gaudi Afternoon”; Darren Aronofsky, “Requiem for a Dream”; and Francois Ozon, “Under the Sand.”

It remains to be seen whether the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. will prompt some international visitors and buyers to cancel their travel plans.

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