More than 300 companies are expected to attend RioMarket 2009, which opened on September 25 and continues until October 6.

Industry professionals expected to attend from Brazil and abroad include producers, directors, exhibitors, trade groups, festival programmers, broadcasters, sales agents and distributors.

“The number of participants has grown 30% this year,’’ Walkiria Barbosa, director of the business segment of the Rio De Janeiro International Film Festival, which itself runs from Sept 24 to October 8, said.

Some will have their eyes on Rio Screenings, where 462 films – 275 of which are Brazilian titles – will be shown, including some of the highlights of Premiere Brasil 2009.

Jose Joffily’s Blue Eyes (Olhos Azuis) and Edu Felistoque’s Inversion (Inversao) will try to attract the buyers’ attention, hoping that they start their international careers in Rio, as Marcos Jorge’s Estomago: A Gastronomic Story did in 2007.

“Since our world premiere in Rio, we begun selling the film overseas,” Estomago’s producer Claudia Natividade said. “By now 23 countries have already bought it.’’ Estomago has sold to France, Spain, Turkey, South Korea, Belgium and Greece, among others.

“It’s hard to estimate a figure of deals that will be sealed or initiated in Rio,’’ Barbosa said. The numbers may still be modest compared to the largest American and European film markets, but she claims RioMarket is the largest gathering of the audiovisual industry in Latin America.

“It is the best opportunity for Brazilian titles to be seen by sales agents and distributors and for Brazilian producers to find co-production partners.’’

Barbosa highlighted the attendance this year of Steve Krone from Village Road Show Pictures, and Patrick Wachsberger from Summit Entertainment, who will discuss production models and business opportunities in the RioSeminars section.

RioSeminars will also stage panels on piracy, new trends, technologies and several workshops. Marc Norman, who shared the screenplay Oscar for Shakespeare In Love, will be on site to talk about screenplays on October 5.

In the One-to-One Meetings section, Brazilian producers will present their projects to potential buyers. Meanwhile, Latin American Feature Film Project Competition will be part of RioMarket for the second year, in association with the Latin American Training Center to discover new talent from the region.

All RioMarket activities will take place in the Centro Cultural Da Acao E Da Cidadania, known as Pavilhao Do Festival, in the city centre.