The 30thedition Sao Paulo International Film Festival (Oct 19 - Nov 2)is to screen more than 360 films from more than 50 countries.

The event willopen with the documentary The US vs John Lennon, by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld, andclose with the restored version of Macuna'ma (1969), by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade.

The Brazilianfilm-maker, who was one of the central figures of CinemaNovo movement, will be honoured with a retrospective.

The official poster is signed this year by 97-year-old Portuguese Manoelde Oliveira, the oldest active film-maker.

Thecompetition section fis limited to films by new directors.Among the contenders for the Bandeira Paulista award are Laurence Lamers' Paid(Netherlands), which is a world premiere; Guy Moshe's Holly (USA), andAndrea Arnold's Cannes Jury Prize winner Red Road (UK).

The festival has made its name by combining a strong international selection with its role as champion of Brazilian cinema.

Thisyear, official sponsor Petrobras will award $185,000 (R$400,000) to the best Brazilianfeature, chosen by movie-goers and $90,000 (R$200,000) to the best documentary.

Highlights of thisyear's programme of Brazilian productions include Tata Amaral's Antonia, Cao Hamburger's O Ano em Que Meus PaisSa'ram de Ferias, HeitorDhalia's O Cheiro do Ralo,Andrea Tonacci's Serras da Desordem, and Ricardo Elias's Os 12 Trabalhos.

Theevent will also promote business meetings between local producers andinternational buyers, such as Susana Herrera (Sogecine-Sogepaq),Emilie Georges (Memento Films), Pierre Menahem (Scapel Films), Massimo Seidel (LatidoFilms) and Tobis Pausinger (The Match Factory).

The meetingswill be organised by Programa Cinema do Brasil, a programme developed byBrazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex) and Sao Paulo film industry union to createa strong brand for Brazilian cinema in the international market.