Four films to represent Brazil at VLAFF
THIAGO SILVA - The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF) has come a long way since its first edition in 2003, when it screened only three feature length films. Now in its 9th year, it will screen 27 films, of which four feature length and three shorts are from Brazil.
Brazilian cinema has also come a long way since then. One of the most influential films of all time, City of God (2002) started the trend of favela movies which are so popular today.
Films such as 5X Favela: Now by Ourselves (2010) which is being screened at this year’s VLAFF, follows City of God’s path not only on screen, but also off screen by engaging the community where it was shot.
However, the popularity of such movies, especially abroad, has overcast another type of Brazilian cinema that speaks directly to the urban middle-class youth of Brazil. Filmmakers such as Jorge Furtado and Laís Bodansky have written and directed movies that talk about the same themes as the favela movies – adolescents discovering sexuality, family conflicts, and student life – but set in a different part of town, and not in marginalized slums of big cities.
Brainstorm (2001), Bodansky’s silver screen debut as a director, was well received by audiences worldwide, won many awards around the world and kicked off Rodrigo Santoro’s film career. After his role as Wilson, the protagonist in the film, Santoro landed roles in big budget films such as Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003) Love Actually (2003), 300 (2006), Che (2008), and most recently the animated feature film Rio (2011).
Bodansky’s latest film, The Best Things in The World (2010), is being shown at this year’s VLAFF and talks about this urban youth through the eyes of Hermano, a 15 year-old who has to cope with his parents’ divorce, homosexuality, and his struggle with life’s challenges while growing up. The film was shown on September 7th, during the Brazilian Gala at VLAFF when Brazilian Vibe was launched and will be shown again on September 10th.