When somebody mentions Brazil, it probably reminds you that you need to schedule either a waxing appointment or a vacation. Though the country's film scene might not be the first thing that pops into your mind, Brazilian film has been thriving for years and continues to do so. And when the 15th annual Brazilian Film Festival of Miami opens Friday, you'll see the latest of what those samba soccer players have been up to.
The festival runs through August 27 and features up to 25 award-winning features and documentaries and 15 short films, including everything from documentaries created from Cuban government film archives to stories about personal discovery. The opening screenings of The Payback and Time of Fear at the Colony Theatre starting at 8 p.m. Friday and DZI Croquettes at the Miami Beach Cinematheque at 9 p.m are all free. Follow the jump for our Q&A with Viviane Spinelli, the founder and director of the Inffinito Festival Circuit responsible for the Brazialian Film Festival.
New Times: What role do you play in the festival?
I'm the director of the Inffinito Festival Circuit and I oversee all
the production of the circuit. We currently organize nine festivals in
eight different countries. And all started here in Miami, 15 years ago
when we produced the first Brazilian Film Festival of Miami.
How is this year's festival different from last year's?
turn 15, it has a very special meaning in Brazil. During this time, the
festival has come of age, just like the Brazilian film industry is
coming of age, and our films, our directors and our stars are being
embraced by audiences around the world. We are the largest festival
outside of Brazil solely dedicated to Brazilian Films, presenting awards
by an official jury for short and feature-films.
How are the films selected?
our curators: Fernando Meirelles (director), Paula Barreto (producer),
Paulo Sérgio Almeida (journalist and producer), Iafa Britz (producer),
Marco Aurélio Marcondes (distributor) and Bianca de Felippes (producer),
[who] did an amazing selection and chose the productions that better
represent contemporary Brazilian cinema, through features and shorts of
What are some must-see films in this year's schedule?
year's Honoree is Arnaldo Jabor and his latest film is a must-see. The
Supreme Happiness is his first film in 20 years and it chronicles the
ups and downs of a middle class in the enchanted Rio of the 1950s. The
comedies Head over Heels and Cilada.com are two of the hug box office
successes of the 2010/2011 cycle in Brazil. We also have VIPs and
Bróder, the first won the Rio International Film Festival in 2010 and
the second one was part of the Berlinale.
What is the film community like in Brazil?
2010 Brazil saw a growth of 19,7% on the number of moviegoers. The most
important aspect of that figure is that the attendance of Brazilian
Films reached historical highs showing that the national production is
in line with the wishes and expectations of the audience.
films will be shown at either the Colony (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) or the Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and
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general admission tickets cost $10, but students, seniors, and Miami
Beach Film Society members pay only $5 - $8. Visit ticketmaster.com or