2nd Annual Brazilian Film Festival
Los Angeles-Americans have been in awe, intrigued and inspired by Brazilian culture for a long time. There is a large vibrant and thriving community of Brazilians in California thanks in part to the large influx who have settled into Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. We can enjoy Brazilian cuisine, martial arts, dance, music, art and get a dose of Carnaval and a full range of Brazilian cinema (animation, documentaries, featured films and short films).
The 2nd Annual Brazilian Film Festival 2009 was held on March 12-15 at the Landmark Theatres in West Los Angeles. There was a Pre-event concert featuring singer Montserrat-a Latin sensation who sang Boleros mixed with Bossa Nova at Brentwood Theatres on March 11.
The festival got under way, Thursday, March 12, with an Opening Night Gala with a Red Carpet arrivals event that featured actors, actresses, models, designers, producers, filmmakers and writers. There was a tremendous amount of energy on the red carpet that kept tripping the circuit to the lamps that lit the red carpet. The Opening Night movie was A Beautiful Night To Fly directed by Zelito Viana.
Friday the 13th was lucky for me and other movie goers; there were many movies that highlighted Brazilian music.
Samba Riachao directed by Jorge Alfredo and produced by Sylvia Abreu was a tour de force of the history of samba music. I found myself smiling throughout this delightful movie. The movie centered around 80 year old Clementino Rodrigues (Riachao). From the opening credits to the end of the movie, viewers are captivated by the energetic spirit and were excited by the passion displayed by Riachao for samba. Various musicians, historians, radio announcers shared their wisdom and love of samba and other popular musical forms from “Bossa Novo-to “Tropicilia,” to “Axe music.” The cast consisted of a who’s who of popular Brazilian musicians Antonio Riserio, Bule-Bule, Armandinho, Dorival Caymmi, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Carlinhos Brown, Tom Ze, Cid Texeira, Clarindo Silva, Eduardo Saphira, Franca Teixeira, Guido Guerra, Jose Jorge Randam, Manoel, Canario, Oscar Santana, Perfilino Neto and Tuze de Abreu.
The next movie on my list were Waldick-Always In My Heart this movie told the story of one of Brazil’s biggest, popular musician, Waldick Soriano who has been called “The Frank Sinatra of Brazil.” Viewers were treated to the glories, joys and disenchantments of typical events of life on the road with the popular crooner. This movie was directed by Patricia Pilar and produced by Thiago Pimental.
My curiosity was piqued with the workshop about the State of Bahia presented by the Ministry of Tourism Embratur, and the Secretariat of Tourism of the State of Bahia. They showed a couple of promotional videos and answered questions about tourism possibilities in Brazil. Attendees were treated to a gift bag and treated to some cuisine from Bahia.
Saturday, March 14th, I had the chance to view a couple of more movies with an emphasis on music. Contratempo directed by Malu Mader e Mini Kerti, produced by Laura Liuzzi is another charming movie about youth in Rio de Janeiro’s underprivileged communities trying to find alternatives to Brazil’s social impasses. The youth spoke eloquently about their ambitious and dreams for the future and how music has become a creative outlet for them. These talented youth tackled works by great classical and Brazilian composers such as Bach, Handel, Mozart, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Heito Villa-Lobo and Permenbuco. I concluded my visit to the Brazilian Film Festival viewing Titas- Life Seem To Be Like A Party.” This movie took viewers on a Rock and Roll tour with one of Brazil’s most important and famous rock band Titas, with archival footage and candid backstage dressing room discussions.
Several informative and inter-active panels were also held-“How to Shoot in Brazil,” “New Media-Making Sense of Key Changes in Media Landscape,” “The Film and Legacy of Glauber Rocha,” and “The Tricks and Traps of Financing in Brazil and Abroad for New Filmmakers.”
The Brazilian Film Festival featured a Special Tribute to Honor Brazilian Film Director Glauber Rocha who is considered one of the greatest Brazilian film directors. Glauber Rocha (1939-1981) who was a leader of the Cinema Novo movement that emerged in the 1960’s. Glauber is most famous for his film trilogy, made of Deus e o Diablo na Terra do Sol-nominated for the Palm in Cannes, “Terra em Transe”-Land in Anguish, and “O Dragao da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro” for which he won an Award for Best Director at Cannes.
The festival concluded with Red Carpet arrivals for the Closing Night Gala featuring Golden Oldies directed by Hugo Carvana.