Brazilian Film Festival

From June 2nd through June 10th, 2006“Fifteen miles from paradise…one man will do anything to tell the world everything.” So went one the many taglines from the 2002 Brazilian film “City of God,” directed by Fernando Meirelles. The film received four academy award nominations in 2004 and put Brazil on the motion picture map -a long overdue pinpoint on the global atlas of cinema. The story of “City of God” is as follows: two boys grow up in a Favela – Brazilian slum – one becomes a drug dealer; the other a photographer. In a city where, if you “fight you’ll never survive [and if you] run you’ll never escape,” the only option is to do as Rocket, the boy-protagonist-turned-photographer does: record. After all, as Godard – French Cinema’s master of the “The French New Wave” – said years ago, “photography is truth. And cinema is truth twenty-four times a second.” Adriana de Lucena Dutra, founder of the Brazilian Film Festival of Miami, understands film’s ability to disclose truth. The festival, due to hit Miami for the tenth consecutive year, from June 2nd through 10th, has been growing exponentially with the development of the Brazilian film industry and along with the influential depths of globalization. “All film has the potential to represent,” says Dutra, “we really sell through cinema, that’s why the U.S. is so strong.” When the Berlin wall fell, kids were wearing Jeans and listening to rock n’ roll because America has always held Hollywood as one of the many tricks it keeps up its sleeve – knowing that, sometimes, James Dean may have more power than congress. Brazil has something to say, and, in recent years, has embraced the omni-power of cinema in a new way – not as empirically as the U.S., but representatively no less. “These are our stories,” says Dutra, “we take very good care to represent all our Brazil, not just Rio and Sao Paolo, but the whole.” The festival was created as the first exclusively Brazilian festival in the world. “The festival, when it started in 1997, was twelve screens and around fifty people at each screening. Since then, we now have 200 screenings and 1000 viewers per screening.” That’s a fairly large audience looking at, listening to, and reading Brazil’s “stories.” All the films at the festival are subtitled in English and the festival now has branches in New York (for three years running); is about to start-up in China this summer; and has been going strong in Barcelona for the past several years. But as to it’s beginnings: Why Brazil and Why Miami? Both questions are easy to answer. Why Brazil? Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America; the fifth largest in the world. Taking up a plot of carnival, lush soil, poltical turmoil and rich history, it lies between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean. Vast in borders, it touches every South American nation apart from Ecuador and Chile. Its land is a mesh of religions, rainforest, agriculture, and social stratifications – a nation dense in population and territory, engulfed in the webs that historical footprints leave behind. It makes sense that the time has come for Brazil’s stories to spill over through the far-reaching sweep of film. Why Miami? “Miami is considered the front door to any Latin product in the United States,” says Dutra, “Miami is the third movie spot in the U.S. where there are certainly hundreds of productions being shot…[plus] there is a real nationality mix here: Cubans, Italians, Spanish, English, …and so on. This shows a real cosmopolitan potential of the city, where the vibration of cultural diversity enables the receptiveness for all the cultures to be lived and appreciated…” One look at the Brazilian film festival’s website (brazilianfilmfestival.com) and the words that literally flash across the screen are the following: “compassion; ethics; persistence; quality; social responsibility; transparency; results.” In these words, it is evident that the cinematic ideals of the founding fathers of Cinema Novo have not died the union of film and social conscious: “the children of Marx and Coca Cola.” By Vanessa Garcia (Fragment) For more information, please call 877.273.4563 or visit www.brazilianfilmfestival.com

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