Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Jonathon Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” and Brad Anderson’s “Transsiberian” are among the 350 international films screening at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday. Diversity is high on the agenda for the fest’s 10th edition. Spread across 20 sections, the 15-day event unspools such high-profile Latin American premieres as Nicolas Roeg’s “Puffball,” Korean director Kim Jee-woon’s Cannes crowd-pleaser “The Good the Bad the Weird,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth,” Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Burn After Reading” and Lucrecia Martel’s Argentine thriller “The Headless Woman.”
Other international highlights in the program, announced Friday, include Philippe Garrel’s love story “La Frontiere de l’aube” (Frontier of Dawn), starring the director’s son, Louis Garrel; Thomas McCarthy’s “The Visitor”; and Guy Ritchie’s “RocknRolla.” All of these pics unspool in the fest’s Panorama World Cinema sidebar.
The festival’s main competition section, Premiere Brasil, showcases top domestic features and documentaries, including Domingos Oliveira’s “Tudo mundo tem problemas sexuais,” Paolo Pons’ “Vinganca” and Matheus Nachtergaele’s “A festa da menina morta.”
Hoping to repeat the international excitement of last year’s opening film, “Tropa de elite” (Elite Squad) — which went on to win the Berlinale’s Golden Bear this year — the fest kicks off with Bruno Barreto’s “Last Stop 174,” a screen dramatization of a real-life bus hijacking in Rio that has also been selected as Brazil’s foreign-language Oscar entry. The hijacking was the subject of an award-winning 2002 documentary, “Onibus 174,” which coincidentally marked “Elite Squad” director Jose Padilha’s first foray into filmmaking.
The Premiere Latina sidebar offers titles from throughout Latin America, such as Roberto Flores Pietro’s Colombian drama “Heridas,” Esteban Schroeder’s Uruguayan-Chilean-Argentine co-production “Matar a todos” and Alex Rivera’s Mexican-U.S. pic “Sleep Dealer.”
Screening in the Expectation section, which presents works by filmmakers who have been generating international excitement, are pics including Jonathan Levine’s “The Wackness” and Courtney Hunt’s “Frozen River.”
This year Rio salutes director Derek Jarman as well as Italian sibling duo Vittorio and Paolo Taviani with retrospectives and puts Blighty center screen with Focus U.K., unspooling some 20 recent British pics, including Martin McDonagh’s “In Bruges” and Steve McQueen’s “Hunger.”
In a special tribute to the centenary of the Japanese immigration to Brazil, a section will be devoted to the films of Japanese producers Masahiro Kobayashi and Yoji Yamada.
The fest will also promote Live Cinema, a section with films projected onscreen accompanied by live DJs, as well as cell phone cinema with Pocket Films.
- Gay World, including Fernanda Tornaghi and Ricardo Bruno’s “Rainhas” (Queen of Brazil) and James Bolton’s “Dream Boy.”
- Midnight Movies, showcasing transgressive, experimental, bizarre and wacky works, among them Chris Waitt’s “A Complete History of My Sexual Failures,” Madonna’s “Filth and Wisdom” and David Gordon Green’s “Pineapple Express.”
- Generation, the children and youth sidebar, offering international productions such as Ole Bornedal’s sci-fi comedy “The Substitute.”
- Dox e Frontiers, the fest’s international documentary section.
- Midnight Special Section — Music Icons, offering docs including Joe Cardona and Mario de Varona’s “Celia: The Queen,” about Cuban salsa star Celia Cruz; Stephani Black’s Bob Marley tribute “Africa Unite”; and Julien Temple’s “Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten.”