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Rio International Film Festival 2012 Awards



The Rio Film Festival, which has been running in the city these past two weeks, came to an end tonight, Thursday October 11, and at a glittering closing ceremony at Rio’s Cine Odeon BR presented its “Redentor” awards given to the best filmmaking and acting achievements of its Premiere Brazil competitive section.


Premiere Brazil, the centre-strand of the festival, focuses specifically on new work by home-grown talent. This year’s selection showcased 73 new Brazilian features and shorts, of which 29 features and documentaries were shown as world premieres at Festival do Rio.


In a year when Brazilian film makers appear to be venturing beyond purely historical and cultural themes and exploring a more ‘genre’ filmmaking approach, the front leaders in this year’s awards all share the common themes of modern world tensions and deceptions and the pressures of aligning with contemporary society.  Tension in the cinema was a big winner.


Coincidentally, two of the big winners of the night turned out to be former journalists making their feature film debuts. 


Film critic and film programmer Kleber Mendonça Filho’s first film O SOM AO REDOR (Neighbouring Sounds) received the Best Film and Best Screenplay “Redentors”.  Already a hit of the international festival circuit, the film has already collected  2 FIPRESCI awards and 2 Best Film awards. Mendonça Filho’s film looks at life in a middle class Recife neighbourhood and the shift of balance with the arrival of a private security firm, bringing with it a sense of security, but also a good deal of uneasiness as the rules begin to change and the reason behind the presence of the new security chief becomes shockingly clear.


Juliana Reis, whose career also began as a journalist, saw her directorial debut DISPAROS (AE-Autoexposure) collect 3 awards, for editing, photography and also a best supporting actor award collected by its winner Caco Ciocler. Having its premiere at the Rio Festival, Reis’s dark comedy of social manners proved to be popular with both local and international critics, with The Hollywood Reporter writing:  “has more than enough stylistic swagger and technical gloss to appeal to discerning audiences beyond Brazil’s borders.”


Director José Eduardo Belmonte, whose humour laced thriller SE NADA MAIS DE CERTO( If Nothing Else Works) scooped two awards at the Rio festival in 2008,  repeated the feat again this year,  seeing his latest film O GORILLA (The Gorilla) receive both the best actor award, given to OTÁVIO MÜLLER for his role as the loner who has to create an alter-ego to try and connect, with near fatal consequences, and the award for best supporting actress, for ALESSANDRA NEGRINI, as Rosalinda, the film’s single voice of reason. Belmonte’s film has drawn comparisons with Polanski’s psychological thriller “Repulsion”.


Best director “Redentor” was awarded to Eryk Rocha, for  JARDS, his poetic and musical documentary essay on Brazilian musician and composer Jards Macalé, one

 of the most influential creators of the artistically rich 1970s in Brazil.


The full list of awards of the Official Jury, made up of producer Lucy Barreto, producer and director Marcos Prado, director and cinematographer Renato Falcão, and Rajendra Roy, director of MoMA’s cinema department, is:


I. Best Fiction Feature
O SOM AO REDOR (Neighbouring Sounds), by Kleber Mendonça Filho

II. Best Feature Length Documentary
HÉLIO OITICICA,  by César Oiticica Filho  

III. Best Short
REALEJO (Barrel Organ), by Marcus Vinicius Vasconcelos

IV. Best Director
V. Best Actor
OTÁVIO MÜLLER, for his role in O GORILA (The Gorilla)

VI. Best Actress
LEANDRA LEAL, for her role in ÉDEN

VII. Best Supporting Actress
ALESSANDRA NEGRINI, for her role in  O GORILA (The Gorilla)

VIII. Best Supporting Actor
CACO CIOCLER, for his role in DISPAROS (AE-Autoexposure)
IX. Best Screenplay

X. Best Editing
 for DISPAROS (AE-Autoexposure)

Best Photography
XII. Special Jury Prize (Image research)
ANTONIO VENÂNCIO, for his work on the films HELIO OITICICA, DOSSIÊ JANGO, SOBRAL - O HOMEM QUE NÃO TINHA PREÇO and O DIA QUE DUROU 21 ANOS, and also for his extensive work in recent Brazilian documentaries such as PALAVRA ENCANTADA, VINICIUS, O HOMEM QUE ENGARRAFAVA NUVENS, RAUL, UMA NOITE EM 67, A MUSICA SEGUNDO TOM JOBIM, among many others.

Jury president Lucy Barreto , herself was awarded at the closing ceremony, being presented with the FIPRESCI Latin American Personality of the Year award during the awards.

Novos Rumos (New Trends) Jury

In the Premiere Brazil Novos Rumos (New Trends) side-bar, a section to highlight bold and experimental cinema from emerging film makers,   the Jury, made up of director and producer Roberto Berliner, director Eduardo Nunes, and actress and director Maria Ribeiro presented their awards as follows:

l. Best Feature 

Jointly presented to:
SUPER NADA (Super Nothing), by Rubens Rewald   and
A BATALHA DO PASSINHO (Passinho Dance Off), by Emílio Domingos

II.Best Short
CANÇÃO PARA MINHA IRMÃ (Song For My Sad Sister), by Pedro Severien

III. Jury Special Mention:
Jair Rodrigues, for his performance in SUPER NADA (Super Nothing)
Gambá, to the late actor for his performance in A BATALHA DO PASSINHO (Passinho Dance Off)


Public Audience Awards

Once again the public vote was at odds with the official jury.  Voted by festival audiences, they instead gave their Best Film vote to Luciano Moura for his first feature, the dramatic thriller A BUSCA (Father’s Child).


DOSSIÊ JANGO (Jango Report), which focuses on the period in which former Brazilian president João Goulart lived in exile and the very suspicious circumstances of his death also raising debate on the need to disclose the files from the military dictatorship period in Brazil received Best Feature Length Documentary prize for director Paulo Henrique Fontenelle.


The Best Short award was given to Sergio Duran and Gabriela Temer’s ZÉFIRO EXPLÍCITO which casts an enquiring eye on the erotic comics published by Alcides de Aguiar Caminha under the pseudonym Carlos Zéfiro which influenced many generations of Brazilians.


I. Best Fiction Feature

A BUSCA (Father’s Child), by Luciano Moura


II. Best Feature Length Documentary

DOSSIÊ JANGO (Jango Report), by Paulo Henrique Fontenelle


III. Best Short

ZÉFIRO EXPLÍCITO, by Sergio Duran and Gabriela Temer




The international FIPRESCI jury presented their prize for best Latina American film in the festival to:

NOSILATIAJ LA BELLEZA (Beauty) -  Daniela Seggiaro,  Argentina.

First feature by Seggiaro, sound and image designer on documentaries, animation shorts and institutional vídeos especially on historical and anthropological issues.



Festival Overview:


Over fifteen days, September 27 – October 11, the Rio Film Festival has exhibited over 400 international and local films in more than 30 locations around the city. It has attracted more than 300,000 paid spectators plus several thousand more to its programme of free screenings including 4 nights of public screenings on Copacabana Beach.


Among the top international visitors to the Festival this year included: directors Benh Zeitlin, Carlos Sorín, Eran Riklis, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Roland Joffé, Leox Carax, Fernando Trueba, João Pedro Rodrigues, IM Sang-soo, Hideki Takeuchi, Jeff Simpson,  Daniel Burman, Philip Kaufman, Laurent Cantet, Srdjan Dragojevic,   actors Kylie Minogue, Carloto Cotta, Ana Moreira, Ivo Müller, Rodrigo Santoro, Terrence Howard, and international cultural icons including Marina Abramovic and Andrew Logan.


Among festival-goers, this year’s list of top ten films proved to be:


1) Caesar Must Die – Paulo & Vittorio Taviani (Italy)

2) Moonrise Kingdom- Wes Anderson (US)

3) Great Expectations – Mike Newell (UK)

4) Holy Motors – Leos Carax (France)

5) Elefante Blanco  (White Elephant) – Pablo Trapero (Argentina/France/Spain)

6) Pieta – Kim Ki-Duk (Korea)

7) The We and the I – Michel Gondry (US)

8) Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin (US)

9) Ruby Sparks – Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (US)

10) Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh (US)


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