Brazilian cinemawill have a stronger presence this year at Cannes film market. Besides GrupoNovo de Cinema e TV, the production, distribution and sales company thattraditionally represents the country at Marche du Film, the largest worldwidemeeting-place for film business was chosen for the first promotional action of ProgramaCinema do Brasil.

This program is acooperation agreement signed recently by the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency(Apex) and the local film industry union, called Sindicato da Industria Cinematogr'ficado Estado de Sao Paulo (SICESP). The intention of the partnership is to createa strong brand for the sector on foreign trade by supporting co-productions,distribution of domestic films abroad and foreign film companies shooting inBrazil.

'The idea isto become the embassy of Brazilian cinema,' says Andre Sturm, thepresident of SICESP. In one year he estimates that the program, supported bythe Ministry of Culture, will have generated US$ 4 million from co-productionsand Brazilian film sales.

To achieve thisgoal they will attend film markets of the largest international festivals,starting with Cannes. '[Cannes] is perfect to create a business networkingthrough meetings and informal gatherings,' he said.

More than 30Brazilian film companies that are already affiliated to the program will beable to use their stand at Marche du Film to promote and negotiate its titles.Several films will have special screenings, such as Diario de Um Novo Mundo,This is Bossa Nova, The Machine, Playing in the Dark, Cafune, Musicagem and the romantic comedy Se Eu Fosse Voce, the most successful Brazilian film sofar, with 3.6m tickets sold in the country.