The Brazilians are Coming! The Brazilians are Coming! This has a catchy, captivating ring to it. Hundreds of Brazilians and other fans of Brazilian cinema invaded Hollywood, Wednesday, July 31 thru Sunday, August 4, 2013. The festival was held at the American Cinematheque Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
I had the honor and pleasure to be invited to the Opening Night Ceremonies featuring a Red Carpet Arrivals. Many Brazilian and several American celebrities strolled downed the Red Carpet, posed for photographers and were interviewed by invited media.
This is a partial list of the celebrities in attendance on Opening Night: Mena Suvari, Q' orianka Kilcher, Rebecca Da Costa, Viktoria Vinyarska, Andrea Sixtos, Laura Soares, Cynthia Kirchner, Gabriela Duarte, Sergio Da Leitao, Alex Khazi, Lincoln Phillips, Mia Cozza-Fave, Hugo Medina, Fabiana Meadows, Aria Carlston, Patricia Garcia, Rodrigo Pitta, Ricardo Caput, Jordon Lewis, Guilherme Scarabelot, Erika Macke, Bruce Beresford, Douglas Spain, Raul Guiterres, Karen Junqueira, Sydney Stephenson, Alicia Sixtos, Arati Misro, Jennifer Jabubowski, Tom Hallick, Maro Paez, Alyssa Aparicio, Sergio Andrade, Debra Calla, Christian Rodrigo, Michele Claire, Ruby Lopez and Talize Sayegh, Festival Founder and Executive Producer as well as officials from Copa Airlines and 2013 HBRFEST Filmmakers and producers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls-the Red Carpet was Hot! Hot! Hot!
The festive sounds of Brazilian music complimented the setting played through the outdoor speakers on the courtyard, while the crowd mingled before the start of the program, on this cool evening.
The Opening Night movie featured the international premiere of "While My Guitar Weeps" directed by HBRFest Guest of Honor Anna Muylaert, and the Los Angeles premiere of Rafael Aidar's short film "The Package," that received its world premiere at the Berlinale 2013.
Anna Muylaert is an internationally renowned writer, producer and director based in Sao Paulo. She started her career as a film critic for the Estadao newspaper and Isto E Magazine. Her remarkable body of work includes the dark comedy "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," the thriller "Collect Call," and countless collaborations with the most respected filmmakers working in Brazil today.
The Opening Night Celebration featured Anna Muylaert's film "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"- this movie has a universal theme, a drama and a pulsating coming of age story about an irrespressable 14 year-old girl who have to deal with her restless teen angst, and the broken aftermath of her parents' torrid relationship by playing an old acoustic guitar-until her fragile held life splits at the seams.
The Opening Night screening was followed by a reception in the Courtyard of the Egyptian Theater. There was a lively performance by Malandro Ana Laidley Trio and Rodrigo Pitta "R/Pitta", a major new talent currently taking the Brazilian music scene by storm, rhythmic samba style.
I returned to the 5th Annual Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival on Friday, August 2nd for a lively Panel Discussion featuring some of the young, upcoming creative filmmakers in Brazil. The Directors Roundtable was moderated by Robert Koehler. The filmmakers shared their creative process with the crowd. The filmmakers gave some funny and thought provoking answers to the questions "Why Cinema? "What was the first film that you saw? and "What Filmmaker influence their career and Why? The panel consisted of Gabriela Amaral, Sergio Andrade, Daniel Aragao, Marcelo Caetano, Caetano Gotardo, Gabriel Mascaro, Allan Ribeiro, Leonardo Sette, Rafael Todeschini, Michael Wahrman and Andre Novais. These energetic and creative filmmakers continues to leave a lasting impression on the international film festival circuit as well as cinema in general. I'm sure that Hollywood executives were aware of their presence in the city.
The discussions continued in the courtyard with the filmmakers with a nice reception catered by Luci Peck and Luis of Brazilian Exotic Foods catering services. We dined on some mouthwatering buracho quento sandwiches and yellow and pound cake for dessert, topped off with Mate Leo tea or 2009 Casey Flat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc wine.
The Closing Night Festivities featured another gem from Anna Muylaert "Duval Records" - this is a wickedly delicious homage to the LP era, and the vibrant 70's Brazilian sound scene. This movie is about a middle-age struggling record store owner still living with his mother and the dynamics between them.
The 5th Annual Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival was presented by Riofilme. Sponsors include One Digital and Copa Airlines. The festival was free to the public and was made possible thanks to the additional generous support of the MRE/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ancine/Brazilian Cinema Agency, and the General Consulate of Brazil in Los Angeles.
Born from a desire to bridge the gap between the Brazilian and Hollywood film industry communities, the Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival launched in 2009 with a clear mission to introduce the fiercely independent-minded filmmaker voices transforming Brazil's creative and artistic capital. Driven towards creatiing invaluable cultural exchange and mutually beneficial partnerships connecting filmmakers, producers and talent on both sides of its far reaching borders, HBRFEST has established itself as the preeminet source of Brazilian discovery in the U.S. Evoking the dazzling setting of Brazil's world-renowned, one of a kind, vibrant festivities and unique fusion of diverse heritage, audiences enjoyed, discovered and be inspired, ultimately revealing the truly visionary cinema has the power to break boundaries and engage.