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October 19, 2005 9:04 AM
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"Matador," "Transamerica," "Pluto" Among Highlights at Fort Lauderdale, World's Longest Film Fest

Cillian Murphy in Neil Jordan's "Breakfast on Pluto." Photo by Patrick Redmon, courtesy Sony Pictures Classics.

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, presenting its 20th edition October 21st through November 20th, is screening more than 200 movies from 40 countries during its run as the world's longest film festival. The festival opens Friday with writer-director Richard Shepard's "The Matador," about the strange friendship that develops between a lonely hitman (Pierce Brosnan) and a traveling salesman (Greg Kinnear) who encounter each other in a Mexico City bar.

Among the festival's main attractions are Duncan Tucker's "Transamerica," about a preoperative transsexual (Felicity Huffman) who learns that she fathered a son, now a teenage runaway living in New York; the U.S. premiere of writer-director Bernard Jeanjean's "J'me sens pas belle" (which translates as "I do not feel beautiful") about a single woman who decides to seduce an office colleague and Norwegian Erik Poppe's "Hawaii, Oslo," about how five people cross paths on the hottest day of the year.

Other notable films screening at the festival include the world premiere of first-time director Andy Cheng's "End Game," about a conspiracy behind a presidential assassination and "Tickets," featuring three stories set aboard a train to Rome and directed by Abbas Kiarostami ("A Taste of Cherry"), Ken Loach ("Bread and Roses") and Ermanno Olmi ("The Tree of Wooden Clogs"). "Breakfast on Pluto," directed by Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game"), will also screen. The film is about a transvestite cabaret singer (Cillian Murphy) who searches for the mother who abandoned him as a baby.

Bobby Roth's ("The Insiders" TV series) "Berkeley" will close the festival. In "Berkeley," an 18-year-old enrolls in the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968 to avoid the draft. The film follows him as he learns about life, love and rock and roll.

For more information, including the lineup for the family film festival and a full schedule of gala events, visit the festival's website.

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