Samuel Jackson will bring some Hollywood star wattage to the Festival do Rio (Sept 25 - Oct 9) when he rolls into the coastal city to promote John McTiernan's Basic.

Recent budget cutbacks have not affected the festival's plans to bring some 300 films from across the world. A new sidebar, Premiere America, will serve as a Brazilian launchpad for US fare such as Basic, Tears Of The Sun and Matchstick Men.

This year's highlights include feature films by such directors as Clint Eastwood, Gus Van Sant, Peter Greenaway, and Carlos Saura. Other sidebars include special focuses on the latest crop of Italian and Latino films - in Focus Italy and Premiere Latina; films for and made by children in Geracao Futura - the most interactive program of the festival; a Mario Monicelli retrospective, as well as a multi-culturally diverse selection of films from such territories as Palestine and Iran. The Premiere Brazil section will showcase the latest output from Brazil with 21 full-length features and 21 shorts.