RobertBenton's eagerly awaited drama The Human Stain will open the 39th Chicago InternationalFilm Festival on Oct 2, after which there will be a tribute to the celebratedwriter-director.

In addition someof this year's most acclaimed festival titles from around have beenunveiled as a selection of films that will screen at the event, which runs fromOct 2-16.

Titles includePeter Hedges' family drama Pieces Of April, featuring a Sundance Special Juryprizewinning performance from Patricia Clarkson, Turkish auteur Nuri BilgeCeylan's Grand Prize Jury winner Distant and Nir Bergman's Israeli familydrama Broken Wings,which has picked up awards in Jerusalem, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Other confirmedtitles include Jafar Panahi's Cannes prizewinning political drama CrimsonGold (Iran), LeeChang-Dong's Cannes prizewinning social drama Oasis (South Korea), Chilean director RaoulRuiz's surreal murder thriller That Day (Switzerland), Claude Chabrol'sacclaimed dark comedy of manners Flower Of Evil (France), Alexander Sokurov'srelationship drama Father And Son (Russia), Pupi Avati's period drama The Heart IsElsewhere (Italy) and Yoji Yamada's elegiacTwilight Samurai(Japan).

Also on theroster are Danish Lone Scherfig's comedy Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself (Denmark/UK), Campbell Scott'sdrama Off The Map(US), Isabel Coixet's family saga My Life Without Me (Spain/Canada), Roger Michell'srelationship drama The Mother (UK) and Rodrigo Bellott's exploratory Sexual Dependency (Bolivia/US).

CatherineBreillat returns with Sex Is Comedy, a mock "making of" film about her 2001 best film prizewinnerFat Girl, ClaudeMiller's La Petite Lili focuses on vacationing film industry types and Pascal Bonitzerreturns with Small Cuts,about a womanising Communist journalist.

SachaParisot's racially charged thriller Skin Deep (US), which won the American Black FilmFestival's best film and best actor prizes, and Paul Quinn's rehabdrama Never Get Outta The Boat (US), will play in the Black Perspectives selection.

The Docufestdocumentary strand features Ron Mann's crusading environmental essay GoFurther (Canada), KimBartley and Donnacha O'Briain's account of a Venezuelan coupd'etat in The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Ireland), Victor Kossakovsk'simages of street life in Hush! (Russia), and David Strohmaier'shistorical Cinerama Adventure (US).

In addition filmcritic Roger Ebert will present a live benshi stylised Japanese performance ofYasujiro Ozu's acclaimed 1932 satire, I Was Born, But'(Japan).

Other titlesinclude Jay Rosenblatt's parental study I Used To Be A Filmmaker, Pieter Kramer's feel-good musicalextravaganza Yes Nurse! No Nurse! (Netherlands), Josef Fares' satirical Kops (Sweden), Kim Jee-Woon, Nonzee Nimibutr,and Peter Ho-Sun Chan's pan-Asian ghost story Three (Korea/Thailand/Hong Kong), and Destino (France/US), Salvador Dali and WaltDisney's surrealist love story that was 60 years in the making.

Benedek Fliegauf'ssinister Forest,recently named as Hungary's official entry for the 2004 Academy Awards,joins the line-up, as does Faouzi Bensaidi's Ramadan drama A ThousandMonths (Morocco), SueBrooks' romantic road movie Japanese Story (Australia), and Park Chan-Ok'srevenge thriller Jealousy Is My Middle Name (South Korea).

The full line-up andcompetition films will be announced in mid-September.