Brazilian film took center stage in New York for the ninth consecutive year with last week’s Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil - NY. On Sunday night, an international audience gathered at Central Park’s Summer Stage to celebrate the closing night of the week-long film festival, which included more than 55 screenings of Brazilian independent and yet-to-be-distributed films. People from Brazil, Japan, the U.S., and other countries in Latin America enjoyed a concert by Mart’nália, a Brazilian singer and composer, and the screening of Elza, a documentary on the artistic life and cultural heritage of Elza Soares, a Samba singer born in the late 1930s in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.
Cine Fest Brasil—presented by Petrobras with collaboration from the Consulate General of Brazil in New York and the Agência Nacional do Cinema (ANCINE)—promotes Brazil’s film industry in the United States. This year Cine Fest Brasil screened 14 feature films, each accompanied by a short film, at Tribeca Cinemas in lower Manhattan. Films like Head Over Heels, by Roberto Santucci; Just Like Her, by Flora Diegues; and Boca, by Flavio Frederico, were among the films competing for this year’s Crystal Lens Award—the festival’s jury prize, in which the public chooses the best short and feature films.
Cine Fest Brasil, an official event on New York’s summer calendar, reinforces the notion that Brazil is seeking to complement its economic and political ascension in Latin America and globally with promotion and understanding of its culture. Sunday’s diverse audience shows that the country’s efforts are bearing fruit.