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Rio International Film Festival 2010 Awards

The 12th annual Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, which comes to a close tomorrow night after a packed fifteen days of screenings and market events, held its Première Brasil awards this evening, Tuesday October 5, to bestow its Redentor trophy (sculpted on Rio’s famous Christ statue) on those new Brazilan films and documentaries considered the best by the official jury and public.

The votes were cast on the films selected for competition in the festival’s flagship Première
Brasil section which showcases contemporary Brazilian cinema. More than 80 films were presented from which nine feature films, eight feature length documentaries and 21 shorts were eligible for prizes.

The outright winner was director Toniko Melo’s VIPs, a catch-me-if-you-can true story of one of Brazil’s greatest bluffers who conned his way into the jet-set before finally being uncovered. The film domininated the evening, taking five of the main awards: Best Film, Best Actor (Wagner Moura) Best Supporting Actor (Jorge D’Elia), Best Supporting Actress (Gisele Fróes), and Best Editing (Vania Debs).

Actor Wagner Moura’s trophy for best performance comes in an already high-profile week for him: the actor returns to screens this Friday again as BOPE Captain Nascimento in Tropa de Elite 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Jose Padilha’s Berlin Golden Bear winning film, which will open this weekend with the biggest print release in Brazil’s cinema history.

Receiving his Redentor for Best Film, director Toniko Melo is following in the award-laden footsteps of his mentor, Fernando Meirelles. With a background in advertising films, Melor joined Meirelles’ 02 Filmes as an ad director in 1993. In his time at 02 he has won numerous international creative awards, going on in 2008 to make his first feature Sam & Fúria, co-directed with Meirelles. VIPs credits show Meirelles as one of the film’s producers.

Other films which had proven popular with audiences and critics during their festival screenings and were similarly recognised by the judges were Charly Braun’s Além da Estrada (Beyond the Road) which earned him the Best Director award, director Flavio Frederico’s Boca do Lixo (Boca) which was awarded for Best Photography given to DOP Adrian Tejido, and Marcelo Laffitte’s Elvis & Madona which won writer/director Laffitte the Best Screenplay award.

Another of the festival’s genuine critics pleasers, Gustavo Pizzi’s Riscardo earned newcomer Karine Teles the Best Actress award.

The Première Brazil jury Best Documentary award went to female director Flavia Castro for her first feature,Diário de Uma Busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…) her haunting and complex portrait of the life in exile of her militant leftist father Celso A Castro. A diary of a journey through the countries her father was exiled to during one of the most troubled periods in the history of Latin America, the film illustrates the leftist military regime of the 1960’s and tries to unravel the mystery behind her father’s premature and unexplained death.

Castro’s film also earned her this year’s FIPRESCI prize for Best Latin film, from a jury made up of film critics Wolfgang Hamdorf (Germany), Neusa Barbosa (Brazil) and Patricia Rebello (Brazil).

In a departure, Festival do Rio this year saw the creation of a new award, to be given to the best film screened in the Novos Rumos/New Trends section of Première Brazil. The award is intended to recognize bold and experimental cinema from emerging film makers. The jury, made up of director Guilherme Coelho, Luciana Bezerra and producer Ailton Franco Jr., gave the founding year award for to Jura Capela’s documentary feature Paranã-Puca – Onde o Mar Se Arrebenta (Paranã-Puca – Where The Sea Breaks Its Back) which focuses on the art scene in Brazil’s north east city Recife. Studying artists and art groups of the past 30 years, the film uses these as a backdrop to show the economic and historical evolution in recent decades in Brazil.

In keeping with annual tradition, the public were once again at odds with the official jury in selecting their favourite films. The festival audience instead gave its Popular Choice award to Geraldo Motta and Gisella de Mello’s Senhor do Labarinto (Lord of the Labyrinth) the story of the life of Arthur Bispo de Rosário a schizophrenic who spent his entire life confined to institutions but during this time created a collection of art that would be acclaimed throughout the world.

The audience gave its prize for best documentary feature to Susanna Lira’s Positivas (Positive),
a study of women living with AIDS, presenting the positive outlook that living with AIDS can still mean a chance for life and sexuality.

The audience’s favourite short film was Natara Ney’s Um Outro Ensaio (Another Essay) which looks at the life of a married couple trying to come to terms with the change in their lives when the wife is blinded in an accident.

Outside of tonight’s awards, earlier in the week saw a special FIPRESCI award for Latin American of the Year presented jointly to Argentine director Pablo Trapero and his wife, actress Martina Gusman both of whom were well represented in Festival do Rio’s Focus Argentina section which paid tribute to the work of the country’s film makers, screening 18 films from various directors.

The Rio Film Festival ends tomorrow night, Wednesday October 6 after 15 days which have seen more than 350 films from 60 countries presented at over 30 cinemas across the city. The festival’s Pavilion headquarters in the city’s historic downtown district welcomed filmmakers and industry guests from across the world including directors Jerzy Skolimowski, Amos Gitai, IM Sang-soo, Daniel Burman, Marcelo Pineyro, Hector Oliviera, Daniele Luchetti joined in town by such Brazilian directors as Arnaldo Jabor, Andrucha Waddington and Fernando Meirelles. Talent in town for screenings included Bill Pullman, Charlotte Rampling, Irène Jacob and Pilar López de Ayala.

Big winners of last year’s ‘Redentor’ awards were: Esmir Filho, whose debut feature Os Famosos e Os Duendes da Morte (The Famous and The Dead) took best picture and also earned him the FIPRESCI award for best Latin America film in the festival, directors Marcelo Games and Karim Ainouz shared two awards with their jointly scripted and directed Viajo Porque Preciso, Volte Porque Te Amo (I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You) taking Best Director award (previously won by Ainouz in 2006), and the award for Best Photography. And director Sérgio Bianchi’s Os Inquilinos (The Tenants Don’t Like It, Leave) also received two awards, with Best Screenplay for writer Beatrice Bracher and the Best Supporting Actress award for co-star Cássia Kiss.

Full Awards 2010:

Premiere Brazil Jury Awards
Chair: director Gustavo Dahl. Joined by actress Bruna Lombardi, Mexico's Jorge Sanchez and Conspiração Filmes' Partner and Senior VP, Léo Monteiro de Barros.

Best Fiction Feature: VIPs
Directed by Toniko MELO

Best Documentary Feature: DIÁRIO DE UMA BUSCA (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…)
Directed by Flavia CASTRO.

Best Short: VENTO (The Wind)
Directed by Marcio SALEM

Best Director: Charly BRAUN, for ALEM DA ESTRADA (Beyond the Road)

Best Actor: Wagner MOURA, for VIPs
Directed by Toniko MELO

Best Actress: Karine TELES, for RISCADO (Craft)
Directed by Gustavo Pizzi

Best Supporting Actor: Jorge D’ELIA, for VIPs
Directed by Toniko MELO

Best Supporting Actress: Gisele FRÓES, for VIPs
Directed by Toniko MELO

Best Screenplay: ELVIS & MADONA, written and directed by Marcelo LAFFITTE

Best Photography: Adrian TEJIDO, for Boca do Lixo (Boca), directed by Flavio FREDERICO

Best Editing: Vania DEBS, for VIPs, directed by Toniko MELO

Special Jury Prize: to the short film GERAL (Geral), directed by Anna AZEVEDO

FIPRESCI Award: DIÁRIO DE UMA BUSCA (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…)
Directed by Flavia CASTRO.

FIPRESCI Latin America Award: Pablo TRAPERO & Martina GUSMAN

NOVOS RUMOS/New Trends Awards
Jury: Guilherme Coelho, Luciana Bezerra and Ailton Franco Jr.

(Paranã-Puca – Where The Sea Breaks Its Back).
Directed by Jura CAPELA.

Audience Awards

Best Fiction Feature: O SENHOR DO LABIRINTO (Lord of the Labyrinth)
Directed by Geraldo MOTTA & Gisella de MELLO.

Best Documentary Feature: POSITIVAS (Positive)
Directed by Susanna LIRA. Brazil, 2009. 78min.

Best Short: UM OUTRO ENSAIO (Another Essay)
Directed by Natara NEY

Additional notes:

As well as the festival trophy (Troféu Redentor) the winning films at Festival do Rio in Première Brasil get to take home:

Best Film – Official Jury
NAYMAR – R$10,000
TELE IMAGE Prize - 60 hours of telecine off line

Best Documentary – Official Jury
NAYMAR – R$6,000
TELEIMAGE – 8 hours tape to tape

Best Short – Official Jury
NAYMAR – R$4,000
LABOCINE – Services to the value of R$5.000
LINK DIGITAL Prize – 8 Hours of colour grading
DOLBY Prize - Dolby 5.1 licence

Best Film – Audience Award
PROJETA BRASIL CINEMARK Prize, R$ 30.000,00 cash prize
GLOBO FILMES – R$100,000 in media for the TV launch

Best Documentary – Audience Award
PROJETA BRASIL CINEMARK Prize - R$ 15.000,00 cash prize


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