9th Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Brazil, September 20 - October 4 2007
Rio is a city that loves cinema, and its film festival reflects that love. This year’s edition of the Rio International Film Festival surpassed last year’s attendance, resulting in a big festival for big cinema buffs. As usual, the focus of the festival is “Premiere Brazil”, the competitive showcase of unseen new cinema from Brazil. Shorts and features compete for prizes awarded by an international jury, this year presided over by the great Brazilian director of photography Affonso Beato, known for the lightness he created for Pedro Almodóvar’s motion pictures.
Apart from that, “Festival do Rio” also directed considerable attention towards new Latin American films. And we can surely mention the good news coming from that region, with countries such as Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay demonstrating the media hype around their filmmakers has been building for good reason.
But even with all the movie love, Rio is still a festival where human contact counts for a lot. Everyone, from the volunteers to the organizational staff, exudes great joy and good vibes. During these two weeks, the 300,000-strong audience enjoyed parties, tourist activities and the already famous “feijoada” (stew of beans).
And, most importantly, the Rio International Festival loves FIPRESCI. At the closing gala, artistic director Ilda Santiago thanked our organization more than a couple of times. Sometimes, critics are welcomed rather than shunned. In Rio, no film journalist feels like the bogeyman. (Rui Tendinha)
Silent Light (Stellet Licht) by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas was selected, by our jury, best film among the Latin American films shown in various sections of the festival. Like Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Word (Ordet), Silent Light develops the story of a woman (of a minority in a remote Argentinean province, the Memnonites) who dies and finds back to life. A review follows.
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival: www.festivaldorio.com