Oscar-snubbed pic wins Brazil fest prize

“A Place in the World,” which was stripped of its foreign-language Oscar nomination this year, achieved a bit of redemption at the 21st edition of the Gramado Film Festival, which wrapped up Monday night.

Directed by Adolfo Aristarain, “Place” took the main Kikito Prize at the festival.

The film was disqualified when Academy judges ruled that while it was the entry from Uruguay, not enough of the funding, production or talent on the picture came from that country. It was submitted by Argentina for the Gramado festival.

The opening for international entries was imposed by the lack of local productions. Only one Brazilian feature –“Capitalismo Selvagem,” by Andre Klotzel — was seen in competition, while the second possible local entry –“Forever”– was pulled due to divergences between director Walter Hugo Khoury and producer Anibal Massaini.

Thirteen features and 24 Brazilian shorts were in competition, though most of the foreign films had already been seen in other festivals.

A “Forum of Brazilian Cinema” was the most important event parallel to the screenings. Helmers, producers and others discussed the new audiovisual law, approved July 20 by the Congress, which allows tax deductions for foreign distributors investing in local productions.

U.S. presence

The same subject brought to Gramado all main executives of the U.S. majors in the country, as well as exhibitors, distributors, and MPEAA representatives. In separate meetings, they discussed how to apply the resources that are now seen as a most valuable source of financing for local production.

Recently, Banespa (the Sao Paulo state bank) released $ 5 million for local production. Another $ 10 million is to be released over the next few days by the federal government.

The following is a list of award winners at the Gramado festival:

Best film, “Un Lugar en el Mundo,” by Adolfo Aristarain (Argentina).

Best director, Eliseo Subiela, “El Lado Oscuro del Corazon” (Argentina).

Best actor, Dario Grandinetti, “El Lado Oscuro del Corazon.”

Best actress, Lumi Cavazos, “Like Water for Chocolate” (Mexico).

Critics award, “Un Lugar en el Mundo.”

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