Some Few Impressions

in 14th Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival

by Isaac León Frías

The Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival is not your average film festival.  Spread over fifteen days, the festival offers a very wide panorama of films from Brazil and all around the world. The screenings are spread all over the city and maneuvering between theatres is time-consuming and complicated and the organization doesn’t offer special transportation for the members of the jury. In addition, the hotel and the festival offices are not close to one another and also distant from each of the theaters, making the ability to navigate the festival a difficult task.

So, for the FIPRESCI jury members, this was not an easy task (nor was it for Brazilians or Carioca delegates). For foreigners attending the festival the logistics must certainly be harder, despite the friendliness and very pleasant dispositions of the hosts. We FIPRESCI jurors had to decide our prize among almost one hundred films.  Of course, it’s impossible to watch all of them in such a limited time. My Brazilian colleagues knew some of the numerous Brazilian selections, but not all. I had seen none of the Brazilian films, and not all the Latin-American films included in the programme. Within those conditions, it was a challenge to make our winning selections, taking into account the opinions of each member who had seen this or that film.

We believed that our finally decision was the right one. Moreover, all the films given prizes by the official jury were Brazilian films.

Nevertheless, the FIPRESCI rules in the particular case of Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival must change. The situation is similar to the La Habana Latinoamerican New Cinema Festival. It’s imperative to limit the selection of films to be considered for competition.  One way to solve or at least mitigate the problems of Rio de Janeiro and other similar festivals is for the national FIPRESCI associations is to establish guidelines. It could be a regular practice asked of the national associations in which the festival is being held.  It would also help establish links between national press associations and FIPRESCI, as relating to films to films competing in festivals.

Edited by Claudia Puig