RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Paulinia Film Festival has made a name for itself in just two years as the main place to premiere local pics.
An impressive $325,000 in prize money — the most offered in Brazil — helps cement the position of the fest.
This year’s edition opened July 9 with Heitor Dhalia’s “Adrift.”
The event, which is overseen by Paulinia’s film production center, features the local premieres of some of the year’s most anticipated pics, such as Daniel Filho’s “Peace Era,” Roberto Moreira’s “Quanto dura o amor?” (How Long Lasts Love?), Eduardo Valente’s “The Eye of the Storm” and vet Eduardo Coutinho’s doc “Moscow.”
Since 2006, Paulinia, a town of 60,000 in Sao Paulo state, has invested $50 million in the construction of a 1,400-seat theater, two modern studios and a film school as well as the establishment of a film commission. Three other studios are scheduled to be inaugurated by March, and of the five studios, one will be dedicated to animation production.
The site of Brazil’s largest oil refinery and petrochemical center, Paulinia is a relatively wealthy town that’s investing its oil money in what some are calling “Pauliniwood.”
“If we look at the list of the world’s top oil producers, we notice they are not among the countries with highest social standards,” said Emerson Alves, Paulinia’s secretary of culture. “Our high dependence on a single industry is a weakness, especially because oil is a non-renewable energy source. We are now planting the seed of a film industry.”
“This is Brazil’s Dubai,” said Diler Trindade, president of Rio-based production company Diler Filmes, following a tour through the center.
A key aspect of the project is the distribution of subsidies for feature productions that must spend 40% of their grants in Paulinia. Henrique Goldman’s “Jean Charles,” Sergio Rezende’s “Salve Geral” and Jeremias Moreira’s “The Boy on the Ranch’s Gate” are among the 13 pics that benefited from the subsidies and lensed in town.
The town’s government has announced the 10 other features that will receive $4.5 million to lense in Paulinia, including Daniel Filho’s “The Lives of Chico Xavier”; Selton Mello’s circus-set “Roadmovie”; Marcos Baldini’s “The Scorpion’s Sweet Poison,” the true story of a call girl; Vicente Amorim’s historical drama “Dirty Hearts”; Breno Silveira’s musical “On the Road Side”; and Roberto Santucci’s comedy “Sex Delight.”
And the winners are:
“Olhos azuis” (Blue Eyes), helmer Jose Joffily
Ana Luiza Azevedo, “Antes que o mundo acabe” (Before It All Ends)
Special jury prize
Luiz Villaca’s “The Story of Me”
Paulo Halm and Melanie Dimantas, “Olhos azuis” (Blue Eyes)
Marco Ribeiro, Paulo Mendes and Cleiton Santos, “The Story of Me”
Cristina Lago, “Olhos azuis” (Blue Eyes)
Silvia Lourenço and Maria Clara Spinelli, “Quanto dura o amor?” (How Long Lasts Love?”)
Pedro Bronz, “Olhos azuis” (Blue Eyes)
Jacob Solitrenick, “Antes que o mundo acabe” (Before It All Ends)
Pedro Cezar’s “So dez por cento e mentira” (Ten Percent Are Lies)
Roberto Berliner and Pedro Bronz, “Herbert de perto” (Herbert Up Close)
Critics’ prize for Feature
“Antes que o mundo acabe” (Before It All Ends)
Critics’ prize for Documentary
Audience prize for Feature
“The Story of Me”.
Audience prize for Documentary
“Caro Francis” (Dear Francis)