7th Annual Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil – New York

The Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil – New York brings the best of Brazil’s most exciting new cinema to the Tribeca Cinemas. New York audiences will have the opportunity to experience such films as the internationally acclaimed Romance and In Therapy, winner of Best Feature Film award at the 13th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami earlier this June.

The opening night of this traditional summer event will once again kick off on Sunday, August 2 at 7:00pm with an extravaganza at Central Park’s SummerStage with a concert by leading singer/entertainer/acrobat/pin-up Sílvia Machete, followed at 8:00pm by a screening of Daniel Filho’s comedy, If I Were You 2, the most successful film in the history of Brazilian Cinema. Sílvia will perform songs from her latest release, I’m Not a Saint, in a show that mixes music, circus and theatre performances. At last year’s kick Opening Night event, over five thousand people partied through the day and night, and proved that Brazilian culture is undeniably contagious and wildly fun.

Then for the next six days and nights, the Tribeca Cinema will host five daily screenings showing the best of Brazilian filmmaking, all of them eligible for the 2009 Audience Award.

Among the highlighted films being screened during this annual festival are: the documentary Simonal – Nobody Knows How Tough It Was, directed by Cláudio Manoel, portraying the life of the famous 70’s singer; Director José Alvarenga Jr’s, comedy In Therapy, deals with the pleasures and challenges of modern life; Actress Letícia Sabatella makes her debut as a co-director with screenwriter Gringo Cardia in the documentary Hotxuá, a poetic view of the Indian tribe Krahô, a very smiley group that chooses a high priest of laugh; internationally famous cinematographer Walter Carvalho presents his latest film as a director, Budapest, based on the homonymous book by Brazilian singer Chico Buarque.

Many of the filmmakers and cast from the VII Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil-NY film presentations will be in New York to attend the festivities and participate in q&a sessions following the films.

Dates: August 2-7, 2009
Location: Tribeca Cinemas, New York City, New York


The Ballroom (Drama), directed by Laís Bodanzky, unfolds during an old-timers dance night in a ballroom in Sao Paulo and follows the dramas and joys of five couples attending the dance. The film mixes comedy and drama, while dealing with love, solitude, betrayal and lust in an environment full of music and dance.

Budapest (Drama), directed byWalter Carvalho, tells of José Costa, a Brazilian ghost writer. Returning from a ghost writer’s convention, his airplane is rerouted to Budapest, where his life is also rerouted when he meets Krista and with her help, learns “the only language in the world which, according to the tongue-wagers, the devil respects”.

Favela On Blast (Documentary), directed by Leandro HBL and Wesley Pentz (DJ Diplo), is a documentary that shows the culture of funk carioca, a musical rhythm that merges the American electronic funk from the 1980s with several Brazilian sounds. Probably one of the most interesting musical movements in the world, the baile funk, has its roots in one of the most violent and poor places, the shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro.

The Herb Of The Rat (Drama), directed by Julio Bressane. He and She walk through a cemetery by the sea. Their names are just like the pronouns. They don’t know each other and they are the only living beings on site. At a certain moment She slips in a lose rock, tumbles and is saved by He. She is a teacher, her father died three days ago and now she is alone in this world. Since she is facing such a predicament, He offers to take care of her for as long as he lives. And this is the beginning of a strange relationship.

Hotxuá (Documentary), directed by Letícia Sabatella and Gringo Cardia, is a poetic record of the indigenous Krahô tribe, a smiling people which designate a high priest of laughter, called the Hotxuá, to strengthen and unite the group through joy.

If I Were You 2 (Comedy), directed by Daniel Filho, takes place after a first experience of exchanging bodies. Cláudio and Helena decide to divorce and, to make things worse, they find out that Bia, now a 18 year older, is about to get married – and that they will be grandparents. In the middle of the crisis, they exchange bodies once again.

In Therapy (Comedy), directed by José Alvarenga Jr.,tells the story of Mercedes, a forty-some year old woman that is dealing with the pleasures and challenges of modern life, decides, without being quite sure why, to start visiting a therapist.

Loki – Arnaldo Baptista (Documentary), directed by Paulo Henrique Fontenelle, is a biopic of musician Arnaldo Baptista, ex-member of the Mutantes, told through the strokes of a painting done by the artist himself. The spectator is brought into his life through the painting and historical images that show the most important moments of his artistic career, showing how he became one of the most famous Brazilian rock stars.

Romance (Drama), directed by Guel Arraes. Is it possible to have a happy and reciprocal love? Theatre actor/director Pedro and actress Ana aren’t able to reach that conclusion before a new man enters her life and creates obstacles.

Saens Peña Square (Drama), directed by Vinícius Reis, tells of high school teacher Paulo, his wife Teresa, a manager of a local foodstore, and their schoolage daughter Bel, that live in a rented flat in Sans Pena Square, the heart of Tijuca, an old and traditional suburb in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. An unexpected and alluring job offer may have a profound effect on the routine of this family and even jeopardize a 20 year marriage.

Simonal – No One Knows How Tough It Was (Documentary), directed by Cláudio Manoel, Micael Langer and Calvito Leal, portrays the impressive trajectory of a former army private, that reigned sovereign in pop culture and ended up being ostracized for a crime he swore innocence. Was Simonal an informant during the Brazilian dictatorship? Was he friendly with the military? Or was his greatest crime being black, millionaire and a sex symbol in a country and time where racist was latent in the society?

Smoking I Wait (Documentary), directed by Adriana L. Dutra. In the attempt of quitting the addiction, a smoker decides to study the subject and produce a documentary where she will show her worries and the different aspects of what is considered the most lethal industry of the twentieth century.

Threshold (Drama), directed by Rafael Conde, narrates a story of love and mystery which takes place in an old house inhabited by the young Maria, whose fame as a saint extends well beyond the mountains of the interior of Brazil. The arrival of two new characters has a disturbing affect on Maria: a traveler, for whom “Holy Maria” develops an intense passion, and Aunt Emiliana, an elderly lady determined to prepare for the great miracle.

Veronica (Drama), directed by Mauricio Farias, is a public school teacher going through difficult times – childless, with an ailing mother and an ex-husband seeking reconcilliation that she’ll have none of. Everything changes when one of her students is left at school beyond hours and catch both up in a web of action.

Wandering Heart (Documentary), directed by Fernando Grostein Andrade, intimately follows acclaimed singer Caetano Veloso from São Paulo to New York and Japan, during the release of his first album recorded solely in English. It takes considerably more than a week-long series of shows at Carnegie Hall, accolades in the New York Times, or the admiration of friends like Pedro Almodóvar, David Byrne and Michelangelo Antonioni to make Caetano feel comfortable outside of Brazil.

The VII Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil-NY is presented by Petrobras; and sponsored by Embratur, Ministry of Tourism-Brazil, the State of Minas Gerais and Redecard; Official Airlines – American Airlines; supported by Stella Artois, Piola, Quanta, Fastway Moving, Contigo, MPB FM, MINC/SAV, Department of Culture-Brazil, APEX Brasil, Ministry of Foreign Relations-Brazil, Consulate General of New York, and City Parks Foundation-SummerStage.

Find out more about the www.brazilianfilmfestival.com.