Bruno Barreto's Last Stop 174, which was today announced as Brazil's foreign language film Oscar entry, will kick off the Rio International Film Festival on Sept 25. The festival, which opened last year with Jose Padilha's Elite Squad, five months before it won the Golden Bear in Berlin, runs for 15 days until Oct 9.

Last Stop 174 had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last week; 'Our opening night film in 2008 will certainly enjoy the same interest abroad', said Rio festival directior Ilda Santiago.

This year Rio will show 350 films from more than 60 countries at 30 venues. The line-up includes, in addition to the most recent Brazilian films, the pick of the world's top film festivals such as Woody Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona, screened in Cannes, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's Burn After Reading, the opening film in Venice, and Isabel Coixet's Elegy, that was in competition in Berlin.

There are at least three world premieres among the films that will compete at Premiere Brasil at the fiction category. Apenas O Fim, a love story by the first time director Matheus Souza, Mauricio Farias' Veronica, about a teacher who helps a child to leave drug dealing behind, and Jose Eduardo Belmonte's Se Nada Mais der Certo, that follows the struggle of a young journalist.

The festival will also feature several sidebars, including sections dedicated to Derek Jarman, to the Taviani brothers and to recent UK production. A special programme will pay tribute to the 100 years of Japanese imigration to Brazil, screening films by Masahiro Kobayashi and Yoji Yamada, among others.

Rio will have a new headquarter this year: the Pavilhao do Festival, situated at the Galpao de Cultura e Cidadania. It will be the meeting point for Cine Encontro, with screenings followed by Q&As open to the public, and RioMarket, the business side of the event. Besides RioSeminars, RioScreenings and One-to-One Meeting, RioMarket introduces this year the first annual Latin American Feature Film Project Competition - in association with the Latin American Training Center (LATC). 'Our goal is to discover new talent, create new business opportunities and contribute to the growth of the Latin American film industry,'' says Walkiria Barbosa, the RioMarket director. 'We received 150 project submissions from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela.''