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RIO DE JANEIRO — The Rio Intl. Film Festival opens today with local helmer Miguel Faria Jr.’s “Vinicius,” but the closing night promises to be a greater source of pride when Brazil’s brightest film export, helmer Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”), screens his first English-lingo pic, “The Constant Gardener.”

Leads Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz are set to lend some star wattage on closing night, Oct. 5.

On the executive front, Harvey Weinstein is expected to attend the fest for the first time, in support of John Madden’s “Proof” and Stephen Frears’ “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” screening Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Talent coming to town includes Gus Van Sant, Kelly Reilly, Stuart Gordon, Danny Glover, William H. Macy and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Festival’s seminars and workshops, which run Sept. 26-Oct. 5, are drawing a roster of international execs including Sony Pictures Latin America distrib VP Steven O’Dell, ICM’s Ben Smith, Spanish producer Antonio Saura of Zebra Films, Fernando Lagier of Disney Latino label Miravista, Focus Features’ John Lyons, TV Azteca’s Marcel Vinay, Pandora’s Andre Sturm and Gaga Communications’ Yoichi Sakai.

Fest, the largest in Latin America, will unspool more than 300 pics and docus from 60 countries at more than 35 screening venues, including eight purpose-built tents and Rio’s Copacabana Beach.

Pics making their Latin America preems include Jim Jarmusch’s “Broken Flowers,” Van Sant’s “Last Days,” the Dardenne brothers’ “L’Enfant,” Tsai Ming-liang’s “The Wayward Cloud,” Atom Egoyan’s “Where the Truth Lies” and Neil Jordan’s “Breakfast at Pluto.”

Only the Brazilian pics, docus and shorts are in competition.

In addition to regular sidebars World Panorama, Expectations 2005, Midnight Movies, Premiere Brazil and Premiere Latin America, new strands are Dox, dedicated to national and international documentaries; Brasil with a Z, a series of foreign films that bring an outsider’s view of Brazilian life and culture; Classical Japanese, celebrating 110 years of Shochiku Films, Japan’s biggest studio; and Retrospective Raymond Depardon, featuring films by the French photographer-documaker.

Spanish films and filmmakers are highlighted in Focus Spain, with 22 recent pics, among them “Iberia,” by Carlos Saura; “Real, the Movie,” by Borja Manso; and “Reinas,” by Manuel Gomez Pereira.


Premiere Brasil – Full-Length Features:

Achados e Perdidos, by Jose Joffily
Cafundo, by Paulo Betti and Clovis Bueno
Carreiras, by Domingos Oliveira
Cidade Baixa, by Sergio Machado
Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus, by Marcelo Gomes
Crime Delicado, by Beto Brant
A Maquina, by Joao Falcao
Tapete Vermelho, by Luiz Albeto M. Pereira
Vestido de Noiva, by Jofre Rodrigues
Vinho de Rosas, by Elza Cataldo

Premiere Brasil – Competition – Full-Length Documentary:

500 Almas, by Joel Pizzini
Aboio, by Marília Rocha
Deixa Ir, by Roberta Marques
Do Luto a Luta, by Evaldo Mocarzel
Do Outro Lado do Rio, by Lucas Bambozzi
Missionarios, by Cleisson Vidal e Andréa Prates
Moacir Arte Bruta, by Walter Carvalho
Sou Feia Mas Tô Na Moda, by Denise Garcia
Sol, Caminhando Contra o Vento, by Tetê Moraes e Martha Alencar
Tudo Sobre Rodas, by Sérgio Bloch

Premiere Brasil – Competition – Shorts:

Alice, by Rafael Gomes
Babau na Casa do Cachaça, by Luis Guimaraes de Castro
Balaio, by Luiz Montes
A Cubana, by Cezar Maia, Marcelo Barreto, Leo Trivellare, Andrea Ferraz e Silvia Goes
Curupira, by Fabio Mendonça e Guilherme Ramalho
Da Terra, by Janaina Diniz Guerra
Desejo, by Anne pinheiro Guimaraes
Do Mundo Nao se Leva Nada, by Charly Braun
Entre Paredes, by Eric Laurence
Eu Te Darei o Ceu, by Afonso Poyart
Historietas Assombradas, by Victor Hugo Borges
Ímpar Par, by Esmir Filho
Manual Para Atropelar Cachorro, by Rafael Primo
Neguinho e Kika, by Luciano Vidigal
O Nosso Livro, by Claudia Rabelo Lopes e Luciana Alcaraz
Visita Intima, by Joana Nin

Premiere Brasil – Out of Competition:

Arido Movie, by Lirio Ferreira
Outores da Alegria, by Mara Mourao
O Fim e o Principio, by Eduardo Coutinho


Al Otro Lado, by Gustavo Loza (Mexico)
Alma Mater, by Alvaro Buela (Uruguay/Canada)
Batalla En En Cielo, by Carlos Reygadas (Mexico)
Cachimba, by Silvio Caiozzi (Chile/Argentina)
El Aura, by Fabien Bielinski
La Sombra Del Caminante, by Ciro Guerra (Colombia)
Las Mantenidas Sin Sueno, by Vera Fogwill (Argentina)
Luna de Avellaneda, by Jose Luis Campanella (Argentina)
Nordeste, by Juan Solanas – with Carole Bouquet (Argentina/France)
Iluminados Por el Fuego – by Tristan Bauer