Rio fest a gateway for Europeans

Event reflects Brazil's growing global stature

The Brazilian premiere of Oscar nominee Bruno Barreto’s “Last Stop 174” will kick off the 10th edition of the Rio de Janeiro Intl. Film Fest on Sept. 25. Among the items of note will be the competition between local and U.S. films, a spotlight on the U.K., markets and various seminars.

The fest boasts a selection of more than 300 pics, the bulk of them premiering in town, such as Ethan and Joel Coen’s “Burn After Reading,” Kim Jee-woon’s “The Good the Bad the Weird,” and Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married.”

Fest organizers expect to sell about 250,000 tickets to the fest’s 22 screens. There will also be free-of-charge screenings in 12 blue-collar neighborhoods as well as big outdoor screenings on Copacabana Beach.

The choice of Brazil-France co-production “174” reflects the Brazilian film industry’s growing international stature, opines fest co-exec director Ilda Santiago. She adds that Barreto’s pic has international potential comparable to that of Jose Padilha’s “Elite Troop,” which opened last year’s fest and then moved on to win Berlin’s Golden Bear before its release in several countries.

Another pic with international potential, “Good,” will be the main attraction of the fest’s Closing Gala on Oct. 8, a day before the prize ceremony. Brazilian helmer Vicente Amorim directed the English-language, U.K.-German production. Star Viggo Mortensen will attend.

The fest will also see a new U.K. focus with screenings of about 35 recently released British productions and co-prods, including Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” Saul Dibb’s “The Duchess,” Terence Davies’ “Of Time and City” and Stephan Elliott’s “Easy Virtue,” all of them premiering in Brazil. The focus will also include a retrospective of 10 pics by helmer Derek Jarman.

“The U.K. has released wonderful films this year,” Santiago says. “The relationship between the Brazilian and U.K. film industries is gaining momentum. It is the perfect timing to bring them together.”

In this regard, Santiago also mentions the ongoing U.K./Brazil production of “Brazuca,” depicting the true-life case of a Brazilian citizen killed by Scotland Yard in 2005.

The traditional Premiere Latina will feature recent films from neighboring countries in Latin America. But strangely, few pics from these countries are set to open in Brazil.

Some of the highlights of Premiere Latina are Pablo Trapero’s “La Leonera” and Lisandro Alonso’s “Liverpool,” both from Argentina. Chilean helmer Andres Wood’s “La Buena Vida” will have its world premiere in Rio.

Mexican helmer Arturo Ripstein will attend to receive Fipresci’s Latin American Personality kudo and to present a small retrospective of his pics.

TIP SHEET

When: Sept. 25-Oct. 9

Where: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Web: festivaldorio.com.br

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