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Rio film festival brings cinema to the people

The event, which organisers have said should bring movies to people who would not normally set foot in a cinema, features some 400 titles.

The Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival is flooding Rio's beach-obsessed metropolis with some 400 movies, including new offerings from top directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Stephen Frears.

The festival, which opened on Thursday and runs until October 11, is Latin America's largest in terms of sheer volume, with films from more than 60 countries. They are being shown at some 30 venues, including commercial movie theatres, an open-air screen on Copacabana beach and in the Complexo Alemao hillside shantytown. Organisers have said they want to bring movies to people in poor neighbourhoods who might not normally set foot in a cinema.

The screenings launched with the highly anticipated Gonzaga - from Father to Son by the Brazilian director Breno Silveira, whose 2005 biopic about two Brazilian country music stars, Two Sons of Francisco, was among the most popular Brazilian films of recent years, setting box office records.

Gonzaga examines the rocky relationship between the legendary folk musician Luiz Gonzaga and his son, Gonzaguinha, also a famous singer. The audience, which included the Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and the Korean filmmaker Sang-soo Im, roared, whistled and yelped its approval.

Other highlights include Coppola's Twixt, Frears's Lay the Favourite, Michel Gondry's The We and the I and Spike Lee's Michael Jackson Bad 25.

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