Agnes Jaoui's Look At Me will open the 42nd New York Film Festival, whilePedro Almodovar's Bad Educationhas been named the Centerpiece screening and Alexander Payne's Sideways will close the event, which runs from Oct 1-17.

Look At Me (Comme Une Image), Jaoui's second picture and follow-up to her 2000sex comedy The Taste Of Others, isa relationship drama set against the art scene in Paris.

Marilou Berry stars withJean-Pierre Bacri, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jaoui, Virginie Desarnautsand Jaoui. Sony Pictures Classics is due to release the picture in February2005.

"With Look At Me, Agnes Jaoui leaps into the first rank ofcontemporary European directors," Richard Pena, chairman of the New York FilmFestival's selection committee and programme director of the Film Society ofLincoln Centre, said in a statement.

Bad Education is Almodovar's 14th feature and stars Gael GarciaBernal and Fele Martinez as reunited former friends who become enthralled bymemories of their Catholic childhood, multiple identities, sexual duality andpassion for film.

"Instead of resting on hislaurels after the great international success of All About My Mother and Talk to Her, Almodovar returns with perhaps his most challenging, provocative, andbeautifully made film to date," Pena said.

Bad Education is scheduled to open through Sony Pictures Classicson Nov 19.

Sideways stars Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti asfriends who take a tour of Northern California wine-tasting country as a finalhurrah before one of them gets married.

Virginia Madsen also starsin the picture, which Fox Searchlight will open on Oct 20.

"I can't think of anotherfilm-maker working today who is able to create characters as complex, ascontradictory, and as richly human," Pena added. "We're delighted to haveAlexander back at the NYFF, and honoured to close this year's selection with Sideways."