Festival Concludes its Fifth Year in Los Angeles With More Than 30 Los Angeles Premieres
The Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival (HBRFest), which annually presents the best in new Brazilian independent cinema direct from the international festival circuit, concluded its fifth year on August 4 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood featuring more than 30 Los Angeles premieres of Brazil’s best independent films. Winners of the IndieBrazil Competition in the Fiction, Documentary and Shorts categories were announced by respective jury members at a ceremony on Closing Night prior to the Los Angeles premiere of HBRFest Guest of Honor Anna Muylaert’s debut award-winning comedy “Durval Records.”
Muylaert, AFI Fest and Sundance Programmer Dilcia Barrera and respected festival programmer and former LACMA film curator Ian Birnie announced “The Moving Creatures,” an extraordinary poignant drama exploring the grief over the sudden tragic loss of a loved one, as the winner of HBRFest’s Fiction award and commented:
“For its successful sculpting of time and its ability to deal with powerful emotions, the jury has unanimously decided to award ‘The Moving Creatures’ by Caetano Gotardo the Best Narrative Fiction Award. For the creative use of CinemaScope and the captivating black and white cinematography, the Fiction Jury would like to give a Special Mention to Pedro Sotero for his work in ‘Good Luck, Sweetheart” by Daniel Aragao.”
Monica Chuo, former Paramount Pictures VP of Worldwide Acquisitions and Co- Productions, Paul Malcolm, film programmer for the UCLA Film & Television Archives and filmmaker Helvecio Marins Jr., winner of last year’s HBRFest grand prix with “Swirl” were unanimous in their selection of “Mr. Sganzerla – The Signs of Light” as Best Documentary: a dazzling re-appropriated and recreated assembly of underground pop film imagery narrated in first person by the award-winning iconoclast Rogerio Sganzerla, the iconic Brazilian experimental filmmaker whose last film “The Sign of Chaos” was about Orson Welles’s failed attempt to make a film in Brazil in the 1940s.
The Documentary jury also gave Gabriel Mascaro’s “Housemaids” a Special Mention and stated: “We would like to commend Gabriel Mascaro for incorporating high school students into his method of storytelling and shedding light on this labor force that is endemic to the social/economic fabric of Brazilian society. “
Bernardo Rondeau, film curator at LACMA, producer Rafael Sampaio and respected Brazilian journalist Mariane Morisawa announced “Ebb and Flow” about a young deaf man who works installing car stereos, as the winner in HBRFest’s Shorts category. The jury said:
“The jury awards this beautiful film for the masterful economy with which it depicts a complex life and for how writer/director/cinematographer Gabriel Mascaro translates a series of simple exchanges into a cinematic mosaic of understated poignancy. We are also giving a Special Mention to ‘About a Month’ by André Novais.”
In addition to other Festival guests in attendance, twelve filmmakers came to Los Angeles to support their competition films:
Gabriela Amaral (“The Comforting Hand”); Sergio Andrade (“Jonathas ́ Forest”); Daniel Aragão (“Good Luck, Sweetheart”); Marcelo Caetano (“By Your Side”); Caetano Gotardo (The Moving Creatures”); Gabriel Mascaro (“Housemaids” and “Ebb and Flow”); André Novais (“About a Month”); Allan Ribeiro (“This Love That Consumes”); Leonardo Sette (“Enraged Pigs”); Rafael Todeschini (“Eva Maria”) and Michael Wahrmann (“Avanti Popolo”).
HBRFest 2013 ran from July 31 through August 4 and is dedicated to addressing the cultural and commercial exchange between Hollywood, the world film industry and the Brazilian film community. This year’s offerings of fresh discoveries featured Portugal as Guest Country in addition to presenting a night of gay-themed films.
The Opening Night Gala Film was “While my Guitar Gently Weeps,” the international premiere of a modern family drama by acclaimed, award-winning director Anna Muylaert (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, “Collect Call”), heralded as a beacon of a new generation of Brazilian women filmmakers, and the Los Angeles premiere of Rafael Aidar’s short film drama “The Package,” which received its world premiere at the 2013 edition of the Berlinale.
Industry panels offered at HBRFest included the return of the popular “Directors’ Roundtable” panel on the creative process moderated by former Variety critic and Latin American cinema authority Robert Koehler and featured Brazilian filmmakers with films in competition. The “Focus on Diversity” panel discussion with Deborah Calla of PGA, Kimberly Myers of WGA and Regina Render of DGA offered attendees information on diversity programs offered by each organization.
Pre-eminent entertainment industry organizations that came on board as presenting community partners for the 2013 edition of HBRFest include Outfest; Film Independent; National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP); Women in Film International (WIFI) and CalArts Film Directing Program in addition to respected Paris-based Directors’ Fortnight short film programmer and journalist Laurence Reymond; American actress (“The New World”), singer, and activist Q’orianka Kilcher; Latino Public Broadcasting; the UCLA Latin-American Institute; Amazon Watch; UCLA Latin American Institute and Cinema Without Borders.
The Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival is presented by Riofilme. Sponsors include One Digital and Copa Airlines. Cultural support comes from the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Itamaraty), Ancine (Brazilian Cinema Agency) and the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles.