Rio fest tackles China, human rights, cell phones

Film Festival to run Sept. 21 - Oct. 5

CANNES — China, human rights and films for mobile phones will come under the spotlight at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, which runs Sept. 21 to Oct. 5.

Over the last few years, the Rio fest has run panoramas “to show what the country has been producing but mainly to bring over a professional industry delegation as well as press,” said fest director Ilda Santiago.

Brazil has been building relations with China and the China Focus will reflect an audience interest in Chinese films made over the last two-to-three years and classics.

The Rio fest will team with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival to screen a complete section, or a series of films in other sections, which connect with human rights issues and showcase films and mobisides made for mobile phones.

The Rio fest has a large audience, some 230,000 tickets sold at 30 venues in 2005, including outdoor screenings on Copacabana Beach and from 2002 outreach programs in less-privileged neighborhoods outside Rio.

“For many of the kids living there, it’s the first time they go to the movies,” said Santiago.

The fest will host its second Co-Production Forum plus industry seminars.

Main sections are a World Panorama, a competitive Premiere Brazil panorama of recent local pics and a contempo Premiere Latin America spread showcasing 30-35 films.

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