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It’s All True Film Festival

Biography

Andrea Cals is the Media Relations manager of It’s All True Film Festival.

Institution

E’ Tudo Veridade is an international documentary film festival based in Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo and it is the most important event dedicated to non-fiction films in Latin America. In 2009 the festival was at its fourteenth edition and the director Amir Labaki presented a new format, dividing the event into two separate programs. The traditional program would be held in March-April and would show the competition screenings, while the special screenings with unreleased films would be showcased in September. The main goal of this change was to provide an opportunity for the audience to get closer to the documentary world with a greater number of screenings throughout the year.

This year the traditional program was comprised of two main competitions (International – short and medium length – and Brazilian – short and medium length) for a total of fifty films, one special showcase (Avi Mograbi) and the 9th international documentary conference (different sections about the pedagogical or political-militant function of documentaries).

Report

It’s All True Film Festival takes place in the theatre of the Centro Cultural Banco Central Do Brazil in Rio De Janeiro, but the core of the festival is in Sao Paulo. The visit started with a brief tour of the Centro Cultural and immediately after, Andrea Cals arranged a space for the meeting in the press room of the festival, together with a group of young students volunteering for the event.

Andrea started explaining the structure of the festival, divided into two main competitions: the first one dedicated to documentaries produced in Brazil and the second one devoted to international films. In total, 50 movies were presented in this edition, both short and medium length. The selection process goes on until December and the festival usually receives many submissions.

In Brazil there is not a long tradition of documentaries, but in recent years they have become more popular. Thanks to the digital revolution it has become easy to make films and the production costs are low. The majority of the films presented in the festival are produced by institutions and corporations, such as Petrobras that tend to finance many films. There are also television channels that broadcast documentaries (among other Brazilian productions); in Brazil it is mainly Canal Brazil, which also offers a special award to the winner of the festival. In any case, the distribution system in Brazil has many difficulties and this limits the spread of the “documentaries culture”.

In terms of screenplay subjects, nowadays many films focus on the regime period, telling stories that were buried in the minds of the people. Twenty years after the end of the regime, Brazil has grown enough to start remembering and rebuilding a collective memory. Andrea said that in the past few years the attention of the authors has been focused on biographies, therefore the festival has opened a special session for this genre.

Someone asked whether there is a sensitivity toward social issues that characterizes contemporary Brazil or not. Andrea answered that there are many features about social issues. Documentaries and fiction. Films about violence on the streets, the corrupt politicians, and the growth of the favelas. There are also many biographies, that interest the public very much. And recently, about the overbundance of garbage and other “green” questions. Many documentaries are speaking about that. And, of course there are the comedies. The Brazilian public loves comedy. It’s a good way to speak easily about difficult issues.

Finally, there is time for a last curiosity. Looking around during the interview, we saw many young people entering the room. It seems that the festival in particular and documentaries in general are able to attract many volunteers and students. Andrea said that the Rio De Janerio location of the festival attracts many creative people and students. In the city there also many schools of cinema such as Universidade Federal Fluminense, Puc/RJ Pontificia Universidade Catolica, Estacio de Sa, Vídeo Fundição, Escola Darcy Riberio.

by Neri Bastiancich and Kiki Sideris

It’s All True Film Festival website

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