Tag Archives: Rio

Critical Divide explains the Brazilian election to Variety’s readers

18 Oct

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Festival do Rio coincides this year – as it does every four years – with Brazil’s presidential election and the elections for the National Congress, state governors and state legislatures. The elections take place on Sunday, Oct. 5 and voting in Brazil is compulsory. If none of the candidates obtains over 50% of the valid votes, a second round will be held on Oct. 26. Incumbent President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) is running for re-election. But she is challenged by 11 other candidates of whom Minas Gerais Senator Aecio Neves from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) and Marina Silva from the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) are her main rivals.

Just over a year ago, it was assumed that Rousseff’s re-election would be something of a stroll in the park for her and her party, and she would easily pass the 50% required at the first time of asking. But then came the protests. Quiet at first, but rising to a violent crescendo where it was openly discussed if Brazil would be fit to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The protests seemed to cover every possible theme and topic, and embraced every age group and social background. They even disrupted last year’s Festival do Rio screenings at the Odeon Petrobras in Cinelandia as its location was a focal point for protestors.

Yet it could be said that this is all history, as the protests diminished and Brazil went on to host one of the most successful – some would say “the” most successful – World Cup. The president was still booed at the matches she attended, but so was FIFA president Sepp Blater. Rousseff may have been hit and wounded, and accusations of her party’s corruption and incompetence continued to grow, yet her opponents still looked far from likely to upset the apple cart or the gravy train that many of her party workers appeared to be riding.

Opinion polls gave Rousseff a comfortable lead over her main rivals, but it now started to look as if she would not get the magic 50% required in the first round, yet this would be a temporary blip as she was almost certain beat her most obvious opponent in the second round, Aecio Neves.

Yet everything changed when the original PSB candidate, Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash in Santos on Aug. 13 The party quickly chose Marina Silva, who had been his running mate and who had run for the presidency on her own party ticket four year ago, to replace him.

The bounce in the polls was dramatic, more than any Hollywood screenwriter would dare to script, and riding a wave of emotion the PSB saw its poll ratings jump in days from less than 10% to over 33%, passing even the president’s rating. Polls also showed that if Silva and Rousseff were to face off, Silva would be a comfortable winner.

But Brazilian voting patterns are nothing if not volatile, and in recent days the concerted negative attacks on Silva by the president and her party machine has seen Rousseff re-take the lead. Yet if Silva can stop the president reaching 50%, there will still be all to play for in the head- to-head in the second round.

So what does the election mean to the film industry and culture in general?

In truth, and this would sadly be true in most of the world, culture is not very high up the pecking order when it comes to vote-changing issues. Although as veteran producer Luiz Carlos Barreto noted in O Globo, one of Rio and Brazil’s main papers: “Artists are only called to decorate the hustings during the elections, never to discuss culture.”

Globo, to its credit, did attempt to bring culture into the presidental debate by asking all the three main candidates questions on cultural issues that had been set by cultural big hitters including Barreto, actress Patricia Pillar, musician Ivan Lins, director and actor Domingos Oliveira, and the director of Porto Cine, Adailton Medeiros, among others.

What was abundantly clear from the answers was that not one of the candidates had given much weight or thought to cultural issues, with the answers being penned by their political advisers and spin-doctors.

Sadly, none of the candidates gave a clear answer to the questions, and almost went out of their way not to commit to any concrete proposals for the development of the cultural sector. As Barreto noted: “The answers were conventional, without any new vision as how to formulate public policy for all the different strands of culture. The ideas and visions were very general.”

If you could spot a trend in the replies it was that the current president thinks she and her government have been doing a great job, so don’t really need to change their position; Silva placed culture in with education, so issues were viewed for their educational impact rather than cultural or financial impact; while Neves said he would like to see a more private-public business partnership in developing Brazil’s cultural sector.

It is unlikely that any party has won or lost votes on its cultural positioning, but voters may have noted that the artistic community that once flocked to support the ruling PT when Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was its charismatic leader and president, have been shifting to support Silva.

The most vocal, not surprisingly, are the more successful artists that don’t need to go cap in hand to the government for support and funding. Highly respected musician Caetano Veloso has been very vocal in his support for Silva, explaining to the public and his 1.5 million Facebook followers why he thinks it is time for a change with a vote for Silva.

The most surprising switch of allegiance – and potentially more damaging – has been that of Veloso’s fellow musician and friend, Gilberto Gil, who was Lula’s high profile Minister of Culture. He too has switched to Silva and has even written a campaign song for her.

The public support of cultural figures may not influence the outcome of the first round of voting on 5 October (although a week out from election it was estimated that as many as 20% may still be undecided), but it could make a real difference in the run up to the second round on 26 October. Especially if they are willing to share the hustings with Silva and become even more vocal in their criticism of the existing government.

Another prominant supporter of Silva is the film director Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) who is promising to bring his very considerable marketing clout and experience to the electoral party and produce some promotional spots for the second round when Silva would have equal air time on television with Rousseff.

Ex-president Lula, who hand picked Rousseff to succeed him, can be only too aware that it was a Meirelles short promotional film that helped swing the vote for Rio to host the 2016 Olympics, and beat other cities that had appeared to be the clear front runners.

On a more local front, the Brazilian film industry is probably quietly pleased to see the current governor of Rio, Luiz Fernandes do Pezao of the PMDB, recovering in the polls and looking well placed to win at the second round of voting for governor of the state of Rio. His predecessor, Sergio Cabral, was recognized as having done a lot for the city and state, in term of both the World Cup and Olympics, and security, but was dragged down by a number of scandals that resulted in various measures and funding to support the film industry, including the Marca RJ announced in Cannes, never coming to fruition. There will be hope that some of these support mechanisms and funding will be reinstated should Pezao win the election.

Overall, filmmakers in Rio can look forward to two years of relative stability, as that is how long the current mayor, Eduardo Paes, has left in office. It is the mayor that funds RioFilme and the Rio Film Commisssion, and makes Festival do Rio possible.

Ironically, there were political protests again at the opening of this year’s Festival do Rio, but all fairly good-natured. The protest was by filmmakers who are accusing the mayor and governor’s office of only supporting commercially interesting projects rather than artistically driven projects that have little chance of making their money back.

An argument that will be familiar in many countries, yet Brazilian filmmakers may have to re-think their position as in 2013 a healthy 120 Brazilian films were made and released, yet less than 20 found an audience of any note to help the domestic share of the box office creep above 18% of tickets sold. It is unsustainable, especially to politicians, to fund so many films that fail to find an audience.

While non-Brazilians filmmakers who deal with Brazil will watch the elections with interest, their main wish, regardless of who wins, will be to see less bureaucracy in Brazil and clearer rules and transparency when it come to the taxation levied on film projects on a municipal, state and federal level. Many foreign producers have been caught out in the past 18 months by extra taxes asked for by Brazilian production companies and partners on costs that were not included in the original budgets.

Brazil needs to simplify the filmmaking process and the time it takes to process funding requests if it wants to attract more production and to benefit from the exposure the country received during the World Cup and will again in 2016 with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The question now is if the next president or governor of Rio will show more interest in culture and filmmaking when in office, than during their campaigns.

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Rio de Janeiro unveils the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic look

5 Aug

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With now less than two years until the start of the Rio Olympics on 5 August 2016, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games has launched and unveiled the new “look” for the Games.

The look will become familiar over the coming years and at the games itself as it will be used to decorate and enhance the sports facilities and the city, in addition to appearing on tickets, uniforms, credentials, licensed products, stores and more.

People that know Rio well will recognise many of the city’s famous landmarks that have been woven into the colourful design.

The new image, the organisers say, was inspired by Brazil, Brazilians and Rio de Janeiro:  “The look is multicoloured and vibrant as the harmonic diversity of our people. The look is organic and engaging like an embrace, inspired by our lush nature and human warmth. It brings fluid and energetic features, like our art, our identity.”

The games has also unveiled the logos to be used by the cities hosting the Olympic football tournament. As well as Rio they include the World Cup host cities and stadiums of Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Salvador and São Paulo.

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Rio Carnival Parade 2015

10 Jun

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On the eve of the World Cup there was still time on Monday, 9 June 2014 for the League of Samba Schools (LIESA) to make the draw to decide the date and order that the top samba schools in Rio will parade in February 2015.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

  • Viradouro
  • Mangueira
  • Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel
  • Unidos de Vila Isabel
  • Salgueiro
  • Grande Rio

Monday, 16 February 2015

  • São Clemente
  • Portela
  • Beija-Flor
  • União da Ilha do Governador
  • Imperatriz Leopoldinense
  • Unidos da Tijuca

Rio 50 Degrees premieres in the UK on BBC 1 on 18 May

15 May

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Julien Temple’s “Rio 50 Degrees” (AKA: Children of the Revolution), in part developed and produced by Critical Divide, will screen as the first episode of Alan Yentob’s Imagine series at 22.30 on BBC One on Sunday, 18 May.

The film, produced by Mike Downey and Sam Taylor’s F&ME,  paints a picture of a city under transformation as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host two of the world’s largest and most high-profile sporting events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Julien Temple had filmed previously in Rio with the Sex Pistols, Ronnie Biggs and Mick Jagger.

 

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‘Rio 50 Degrees’ Premieres

12 Apr
Julien Temple and Kirsty Wark

Julien Temple and Kirsty Wark

Julien Temple’s “Rio 50 Degrees”, in part developed by Critical Divide, received its world premiere screening as the opening gala of the BBC’s Art Screen Festival at the Glasgow Film Theatre on 10 April.

The film, which takes a look at Rio de Janeiro as the city prepares to host two of the world’s most high-profile events: the FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, will be broadcast on the BBC as part of Alan Yentob’s Imagine series.

 

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Rio Olympic and Paralympic pictograms for 2016

9 Nov

The organisers of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro have released the sporting pictograms that will be used during the games.

They are:

Olympic Pictograms 2016Paralympic Pictograms 2016

Festival do Rio unveils Première Brasil selection for 2013

3 Sep

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Festival do Rio, South America’s largest and most important film festival, has unveiled the line up for Première Brasil. Première Brasil is the only competitive section of Festival do Rio with jury prizes to be presented at the end of the festival. Three highly prized audience awards will also be bestowed on the best Brazilian feature film, best documentary and best short film.

Première Brasil, which has as its festival home the historic Odeon Petrobras (photo) in Cinelandia in downtown Rio de Janeiro, is the beating heart of Festival do Rio, and the best annual global showcase of contemporary Brazilian cinema.

This year’s Première Brasil includes eleven feature films, eight feature length documentaries and seventeen shorts in competition. A further three features and five documentary features will screen hors concours, while other Brazilian productions will screen in special Première Brasil sidebars such as Portraits and New Trends.

PREMIÈRE BRASIL | FICTION | COMPETITION

  • OS AMIGOS (Best Friends), by Lina Chamie (SP), 89’
  • DE MENOR (Underage), by Caru Alves de Souza (SP), 77’
  • ENTRE NÓS (Sheep’s Clothing), by Paulo Morelli (SP), 97’
  • ESTRADA 47 – A MONTANHA (Road 47 – The Mountain), by Vicente Ferraz (SP), 107’
  • O HOMEM DAS MULTIDÕES (The Man of the Crowd), by Marcelo Gomes e Cao Guimarães (MG), 93’
  • JOGO DAS DECAPITAÇÕES (Beheadings Game), by Sérgio Bianchi (SP), 96’
  • O LOBO ATRÁS DA PORTA (A Wolf at the Door), by Fernando Coimbra (SP), 100’
  • MINUTOS ATRÁS (Past Minut), by Caio Sóh (RJ), 106’
  • PERISCÓPIO (Periscope), by Kiko Goifman (SP), 80’
  • QUASE SAMBA (Lyrics), by Ricardo Targino (RJ), 90’
  • TATUAGEM (Tattoo), by Hilton Lacerda (PE), 110

 PREMIÈRE BRASIL | DOCUMENTARIES | COMPETITION

  • CATIVAS, PRESAS PELO CORAÇÃO (Captive Hearts), by Joana Nin (PR), 77’
  • CIDADE DE DEUS – 10 ANOS DEPOIS (City of God – 10 Years Later),by Cavi Borges & Luciano Vidigal (RJ), 75’
  • CONVERSA COM JH (Writers Block), by Ernesto Rodrigues (RJ), 93’ DAMAS DO SAMBA (Lady’s Samba), by Susanna Lira (RJ), 75’
  • A FARRA DO CIRCO (Ruckus in the Circus), by Roberto Berliner & Pedro Bronz (RJ), 94’
  • FLA x FLU (Fla x Flu), by Renato Terra (SP), 85’
  • A GENTE (Custodians), by Aly Muritiba (PR), 99’
  • HISTÓRIAS DE ARCANJO – UM DOCUMENTÁRIO SOBRE TIM LOPES (Stories of Arcanjo – a documentary about Tim Lopes), by Guilherme Azevedo (RJ), 84’.

 PREMIÈRE BRASIL | FICTION | HORS CONCOURS

  • EDUCAÇÃO SENTIMENTAL (Sentimental Education), by Julio Bressane (RJ), 84’
  • GATA VELHA AINDA MIA (Never too Old to Meow), by Rafael Primot (SP), 86’
  • MATO SEM CACHORRO (The Dognapper), by Pedro Amorim (RJ), 121’

 PREMIÈRE BRASIL | DOCUMENTARIES | HORS CONCOURS

  • CAUBY – COMEÇARIA TUDO OUTRA VEZ (Cauby – I Would Start All Over Again), by Nelson Hoineff (RJ), 80’
  • FEIO, EU? (Ugly, Me?), by Helena Ignez (SP), 70’
  • MATARAM MEU IRMÃO (They Killed My Brother), by Cristiano Burlan (SP), 77’;
  • SERRA PELADA: A LENDA DA MONTANHA DE OURO (The Legend Of the Golden Mountain), by Victor Lopes (RJ), 90’.
  • VINTE – RioFilme, 20 anos de cinema brasileiro (Twenty), by Carlos Diegues (RJ) 80