4th Annual Los Angeles Brazilian Film festival


4th Annual Los Aangeles Brazilian Film festival (LABRFF) returns to The Landmark theatres. Presented by EMBRATUR, LABRFF is one of the major Brazilian film festivals in the US.

Festival’s Director of Programming Meire Fernanbys said “The lineup of the film festival reflects not only the diversity of the Brazilian cinema now a days but is also an opportunity to show that the films and filmmakers were pushing the boundaries of cinema, experimenting with style, form and content.”

Caio Sóh’s “Soulbound” (Teus Olhos Meus) opens the festival on Wednesday, April 27. Gill (Emílio Dantas) a 20-year old musician. Raised by his loving aunt Leila (Paloma Duarte) and his uncle Cesar (Roberto Bomtempo), family problems cause him to run away. A meeting with Otavio (Remo Rocha), a fifty-year old music producer, changes his life and transcends “the paradigms of love.” Preceeded by the short “Think Big/Think Small Scale” directed by Barbara Tavares. The filmmaking team, including Caio Sóh, Luano Lobo, Maria Gadú and star Emílio Dantas introduced the film.

“Soulbound” was a fresh choice for an opening night film. Made on a micro budget, using friend’s houses as location, Caio Sóh’s unexpected romantic drama features a coming of age story with a compelling twist. Soulful performances by a strong cast, especially leading men Emílio Dantas and Remo Rocha highlight a fluid cinematic journey. Intuitive split screens move the story along without calling attention to themselves. A soundtrack, including a haunting performance by one of the film’s composers Maria Gadú, is another plus. Producer Luano Lobo, of Lobo Filmes, who also produced the award winning short “Think BIG, Think small-scale” which preceded the film, deftly shepherded this labor of love.

“Think BIG, Think small-scale” (O Gigante de Papelão) by UCLA Film School grad Barbara Tavares is an impressionist portrait of Bahian ‘cardboard architect” and recycling artist Sergio Cezar. The award -winning film was produced in an international five-day film competition. The team had 5 days to write, shoot, edit and finish the lovely film with a message. Tavares said she wanted to capture a true Brazilian character to share with the world. Cezar, who mentors at risk street kids hopes to influence the world to “recycle the way we see things.” Barbara Tavares and Sergio Cezar introduced the film. Sergio Cezar will lead a workshop on Saturday April 30TH at 10:30 AM.

Other features in the narrative competition are:
“Leo And Bia” (Leo E Bia) dir: Oswaldo Montenegro
“So Hard To Forget” (Como Esquecer) dir: Malu by Martino
“Federals” (Federal) by Eric by Castro
“400 VS 1– an organized crime story” (400 Contra 1-Uma Historia Do Comando Vermelho) dir: Caco Souza
“The Medium’s Mother”– (As Mães by Chico Xavier) dir: Halbyr Gomes e Glauber Filho
“Leaves Of The Sacred Garden” (O Jardim Das Folhas Sagradas) dir: Pola Ribeiro
“Area Q” dir: Gerson Sanginitto
“Inversion” (Inversão) dir: Edu Felistoque

Special screenings: “Within the river among the trees” (No meio do rio entre as arvores) by Jorge Bodansky. Jorge Bodansky’s documentary is an insider view of the Amazon region. Technical workshops and equipment empowered the communities living in the remote reserve of Alto Solimões. A MUST SEE.  And “Shadows of the Green Line” (Na Sombra da Linha Verby) by Kaya Verruno. Verruna’s romantic drama, cast with regional locals tells the story of 17 year old native, Rocky, whose village is being transformed into a tourist destination. Kicked off the land by his boss, Rocky’s visit to his grandfather in the mata (Jungle) leads him to a new life in tune with his Afro roots.

Short films in competition:
“Think BIG, Think small-scale” (O Gigante by Papelão by Barbara Tavares
“Besieged” (Sitiados) by Marcello Boynard
“Last Chance” (Ultimo Ensejo) by Ramon Santos
“The Hand” (O Leilao) by Thiago Picchi
“Speechless” (O Caso Libras) by Melise Maia
“Living Again” (Viver Outra Vez) by Thomas Hale
“Piece of Paper” (Pedaço by Papel) by Cesar Raphael
“The Belgian” (O Belga) by Igor e Ivan Spacek
“Under the Spell of the Light” (Sob o Encanto da Luz) by Dirceu Lustosa
“Showcase” (Vitrines) by Carlos Segundo
“The River and I” (O Rio e Eu) by Diego Lopes
“The Psychic “(A Vibynte) by Darcyana Moreno Izel
“Equivoco” by Alvaro Perrone
“The Girl With The Flower” (A menina da Flor) by Farah Sarahyba
“Men and Horses” (Homens e Cavalos) by Conrado Vidal

English language shorts in competition:
“Synergy” by Gabriela Egito
“Super Morning” by Julia Camara
“Live Without a life” by Wagner Fulco

Caco Souza’s “VS 1 – An Organized Crime Story” closes the festival. The 70’s prison drama, about a group of prisoners, politically organizing to gain collective civil rights, explores the origins of urban violence.

Seminars and Special Events
Thursday, April 28TH
5:00PM Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau – Cocktail
Speaker: Paulo Senise

Daily morning panels and workshops round out the weekend immersion in Brazilian film. Tickets are available at Landmark Theatre, Westside Pavilion, 10850 West Pico Blvd. For more info go to http://www.labrff.com


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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