RIO DE JANEIRO — Jose Eduardo Belmonte’s comedy thriller “Should Nothing Else Work Out” and Matheus Nachtergaele’s “The Dead Girl’s Feast” shared the top awards at the 10th Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Latin America’s largest fest, which wrapped Thursday.

“Should Nothing” took the Redeemer trophies for best feature and actress (Caroline Abras) while thesp Nachtergaele’s helming debut nabbed the director and actor (Daniel de Oliveira) kudos. The drama, set in the Amazon rainforest, premiered at Cannes 2008’s Un Certain Regard.

The jury, headed by Wieland Speck, director of the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section, gave the documentary award to Pedro Urano’s “Royal Road of Cachaca,” about the production of Brazil’s sugarcane-based liquor.

Helena Solberg got the doc director Redeemer for “The Enchanted Word,” a reflection on Brazilian music.

The jury honored Marco Abujamra’s doc “Jards,” about controversial musician Jards Macale, with its special kudo. It granted a special mention to Matheus Souza debut pic “That’s It,” lensed on Rio’s PUC University campus, where the helmer was a film student.

Moviegoers, who packed screenings of pics in competition, selected Souza’s feature for the audience honor. The audience doc prize went to “Loki — Arnaldo Baptista,” about the former lead singer of the band Mutantes.

Argentinean helmer Lucrecia Martel’s “The Headless Woman,” nabbed the Fipresci Latin American feature kudo. Earlier in the week, Fipresci gave a lifetime achievement honor to Mexican helmer Arturo Ripstein, who attended the fest.

Once again the massive moviegoers’ participation was the highlight of the Rio fest. Auds watched more than 350 features from 60 countries presented at more than 30 screens across Rio.

The fest opened Sept. 25 with the premier of Brazilian foreign language Oscar nominee “Last Stop 174,” from helmer Bruno Barreto.

Local helmer Vicente Amorim’s “Good” with star Viggo Mortensen in attendance was the Closing Gala pic on Wednesday.

The fest’s market held the annual Latin American feature project competition, organized with the Latin American Training Center, set up by the MPA’s former senior VP of Latin America operations Steve Solot.

From about 150 project entries from across Latin America, a committee of international advisors selected 12, which were pitched Oct. 2 to an audience of industry players.

They picked Rosane Lima’s “S.A.A.R.A. — Sao Jorge e o passaro celestial” as the best project. The filmmaker won a trip to Spain, where she will meet local producers. Cecilia Amado’s “Capitaes de Areia,” based on the novel by Brazil’s celebrated writer Jorge Amado, who was her grandfather, received the second prize.

Full Awards 2008:


(Should Nothing Else Work Out) dir. José Eduardo Belmonte. 

Documentary Feature: ESTRADA REAL DA CACHAÇA

(Royal Road of Cachaca) dir. Pedro Urano. 


A FESTA DA MENINA MORTA (The Dead Girl’s Feast)

Documentary Director: HELENA SOLBERG

EN PALAVRA CANTADA (The Enchanted Word)


A FESTA DA MENINA MORTA (The Dead Girl’s Feast)


SE NADA MAIS DER CERTO (Should Nothing Else Work Out)

Fiction Short:

BLACKOUT (Blackout) dir. Daniel Rezende. 

Documentary Short:

69-PRAÇA DA LUZ (69-Luz Square) dir. Carolina Markowicz, Joana Galvão.

Special Jury Prize:



dir. Marco Abujamra, Co-Director João Pimentel. 

Jury Special Mention

APENAS O FIM (That’s It) dir. Matheus Souza. 


Audience Awards

Fiction Feature:

APENAS O FIM (That’s It) dir. Matheus Souza. 

Documentary Feature:

LOKI – ARNALDO BAPTISTA (Loki – Arnaldo Baptista)

dir. Paulo Henrique Fontenelle.

Best Short:

URUBUS TÊM ASAS (Vultures Have Wings) dir. André Rangel, Marcos Negrão. 

Fipresci Jury Prize

Latin American Feature:

LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (The Headless Woman) – Argentina

dir. Lucrecia Martel.