Brazilian Film Festival

The Brazilian Film Festival Starts Tonight

The first of two Brazilian Film Festivals starts tonight for a four night run at the Bloor Cinema. The Brazilian Film Festival of Toronto (BRAFFT), now in its second year, will be showcasing a range of films from South America's largest country including Thursday night's 7:30pm screening of Not by Chance (see trailer below) produced by Academy Award nominated director Fernando Meirelles.

Earlier today I exchanged emails with Barbara de la Fuente, one of the festival's organizers who gave me the scoop on what the festival is about and what to see.

This is the second year of the Brazilian Film Festival. How did everything go in its inaugural year?

The festival was created to promote Brazilian cinematography and to create a space for collaboration between Canadian and Brazilian professionals. The first edition was a smaller one, but it had a very good response from the Canadian audience.

In general, what sort of films screen at the festival?

They are recent films, from the past two years. One of them, The Children's Orchestra is going to have its Brazilian and Canadian premiere, simultaneously on the same day, on November 7th.

What are two or three films you'd most recommend I should check out this year?

I recommend all of them. We brought a diverse program that can please different tastes. For soccer lovers, I recommend "Beyond Soccer" and "1958-The year The World Discovered Brazil" - two documentaries about Brazilian national passion. For music lovers, I recommend "The Children's Orchestra", for drama lovers: "Our Life Doesn't Fit In An Opala Car", "The Oxen's Eye", "The Milky Way", "Quero" and "Not By Chance".

There is "Pindorama", a beautiful documentary about the life of a family of dwarfs. And of course, "My name Ain't Johnny" the big box office hit in Brazil. I cannot forget the short films and the special short animation exhibition.

What are the main differences between BRAFFT and the Brazil Film Fest that takes place later this month?

The two festivals have different proposals. BRAFFT is a festival with a competitive program, a special animation exhibition and we screen films released within the past two years. As far as I know, the Brazil Film Fest is a thematic exhibition and doesn't have a competitive program.

For those interested in other aspects of Brazilian culture beyond film, what are some things or places in Toronto they should check out?

During the Festival, the Brazilian Rock Band, Donna Lolla, will be performing. They will play on November 6 at Vida Lounge, on November 7 at Mana Bar & Lounge and on November 9 at Lula Lounge. For food I'd recommend Caju Restaurant. For samba lovers I recommend the Brazilian Music Festival during the summer on the Island.

For more info, check the list of movies or the full schedule on the BRAFFT web site.

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