Toniko Melo pic won prizes for best feature, actor

Toniko Melo’s “VIPs” nabbed five Redentor kudos Tuesday Oct. 5 at the 12th Rio Festival, Latin America’s largest film fest.

Produced by helmer Fernando Meirelles’s O2 Filmes, “VIPs” depicts a catch-me-if-you-can true story of one of Brazil’s greatest bluffers who conned his way into the jet-set before finally being uncovered and sent to jail. The pic took the feature, actor (Wagner Moura), supporting actor (Jorge D’Elia), supporting actress (Gisele Froes) and editing (Vania Debs) Redentors, the trophy named after Rio’s famous Christ statue.

Charly Braun’s “Alem da Estrada” (Beyond the Road) earned him the helmer kudo, Flavio Frederico’s “Boca do Lixo” (Boca) got the cinematography prize for Adrian Tejido, and Marcelo Laffitte’s “Elvis & Madona” took the screenplay Redentor, while Gustavo Pizzi’s “Riscado” nabbed for rookie Karine Teles the actress kudo.

Flavia Castro’s debut feature received the doc Redentor for “Diario de Uma Busca” (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…), her portrait of the life in exile of her militant leftist father Celso Castro. The doc also got the FIPRESCI prize for Best Latin pic.

As it often happened in previous Rio Fest editions, the aud were at odds with the jury. They granted through a vote the aud feature kudo to Geraldo Motta and Gisella de Mello’s “Senhor do Labarinto” (Lord of the Labyrinth), the life story of Arthur Bispo do Rosario, a now acknowledged artist who spent his entire life confined to mental institutions. The aud gave its prize for doc feature to Susanna Lira’s “Positivas” (Positive), a study of women living with AIDS.

The fest created this year a new award for experimental pics from emerging film makers, which was given to Jura Capela’s doc feature “Parana-Puca – Onde o Mar Se Arrebenta” (Parana-Puca – Where The Sea Breaks Its Back).

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