×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brazilian Milestones Energize Rio Film Festival

The Rio de Janeiro Film Festival unspools against a background of three milestones: the Oct. 5 general elections; a 2014 $540 million governmental funding package for film/TV, unveiled by president Dilma Rousseff in early July; and the impact of new 2012 TV regs, obliging pay TV channels to air 3.5 hours of Brazilian content weekly. All three factors galvanize the Rio Fest and RioMarket.

The festival, which closes with the world premiere of Stephen Daldry’s teen thriller “Trash,” boasted 250,000 spectators in 2013 and bows 350 films this year on 30 screens across Rio. It is one of Latin America’s biggest film events — and is a powerful gateway into Brazil’s ever-growing movie and TV markets, and ever more powerful industry.

No other Latin American festival suggests such a sense of a country in the throes of deliberate industry change. Take Rio’s centerpiece, the 41-feature Premiere Brasil competition: It’s the world’s biggest Brazilian film panorama.

“Brazil is at a crossroads, debating what kind of country we want (to be),” says Rio Fest co-director Ilda Santiago. “Following on documentaries, fiction features are increasingly looking at how Brazil has been built, for good and bad, over the last half-century.”

For example, in Gregorio Graziosi’s “Obra,” an architect discovers human bones on a construction site, implicating his family in Brazil’s dirty war; Andre Ristum’s “The Other Side of Paradise” chronicles the fate of a trade union member in the run-up to Brazil’s 1964-85 military dictatorship; and Daniel Aragao’s thriller “I Swear I’ll Leave This Town” turns on “politicians, (and) the political process,” says Santiago.

Potential nonfiction highlights include “Sunday Ball,” from esteemed documaker Eryk Rocha, about how soccer unites deprived communities, and Theresa Jessaroun’s “Point Blank,” which focuses on Rio’s notoriously violent police.

As Brazilians have poured into cities, Brazilian cinema is finally addressing big city life, Santiago says, citing rich kid coming-of-age tale “Casa Grande” and “Absence,” from Chico Teixeira.

Equally, as Brazilian film finance soars, a new filmmaker generation is breaking through: Half of Premiere Brasil’s 10 fiction films are feature debuts, including romantic drama “Love Film Festival,” co-directed by scribe-turned-helmer Manuela Dias.

Brazil, moreover, is looking ever more to consolidate production alliances. One 2014 Rio Fest highlight is Mexico Focus, with the Latin American premiere of “Words With Gods” and soccer-themed TV series “Short Plays,” bringing key Mexican producers to Rio.

More TV

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Award Nominations (Updating Live)

    Awkwafina and Laverne Cox announced the nominations for the 25th Annual SAG Awards on Wednesday morning. TNT, TBS, and truTV aired the announcement live from the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., beginning at 10 a.m. ET/PT. SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris introduced the presenters, who revealed nominations for acting in television and film. Prior to [...]

  • European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe VestagerSlush

    Liberty Global, Vodafone's $22 Billion Cable Deal Under Investigation by EU

    The European Commission has started an in-depth probe into Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of a raft of Liberty Global assets in Europe. The commission cited concerns that the deal could reduce competition in Germany and the Czech Republic. “It’s important that all EU consumers have access to affordable and good quality telephone and TV services,” Commissioner [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    How to Watch the SAG Awards Nominations Live

    Awkwafina and Laverne Cox will announce the nominees for the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif. Beginning 10 a.m. ET/PT, the nominations will be carried live on TNT, TBS, and truTV. SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris will introduce Awkwafina and Cox. Prior to that announcement, SAG Awards [...]

  • CBS News' chief White House correspondent

    Major Garrett Named Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News

    CBS News has promoted Major Garrett to the post of Chief Washington Correspondent. A veteran journo, Garrett has served as Chief White House Correspondent since joining CBS News in 2012. With the promotion, Garrett will expand his beat to a wider range of stories coming out of Washington as well as the 2020 presidential election [...]

  • SF Studios Acquires Norwegian Production Company

    SF Studios Acquires Norwegian Production Company Paradox

    SF Studios has acquired Paradox, the well-established Scandinavian company behind Erik Poppe’s “U-July 22,” to launch Norwegian production operations. SF Studios, which will be celebrating its centenary next year, has up until now focused on the production of feature films and drama series in Sweden and Denmark. The company also boasts distribution operations in Norway [...]

  • Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama

    Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama ‘Butterfly’

    Hulu has snagged U.S. rights to “Butterfly,” the family drama about separated parents who disagree over how to deal with their youngest child, Max, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl. The series was commissioned by ITV in the U.K. “Marcella” star Anna Friel plays Max’s mother, Vicky, and Emmett J. Scanlon [...]

  • Rupert Murdoch

    BBC Orders Documentary Series on Rupert Murdoch’s Print Empire

    The BBC has ordered “A Tabloid Empire,” a three-part documentary series on Rupert Murdoch’s influence over the British press. The series will air on BBC Two in the U.K. and examine in detail Britain’s popular press between 1997 and 2012, a period that covers phone hacking and corruption but that also saw Murdoch’s and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content