By Mary Bolling Blackiston, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Boasting over 120 members from about thirty countries, the Associação dos Correspondentes de Imprensa Estrangeira no Brasil (Association of Foreign Media Correspondents in Brazil, commonly known as ACIE), a non-profit organization created in 1962, is the largest association of foreign correspondents in Brazil. Now with the World Cup arriving in 2014, it looks to be an important year.
The ACIE’s objective is to unite professionals from around the world who work in Brazil and are active in the written press, television, radio and digital sectors. There are also some associate members of the diplomatic sector, press officers and heads of international public relations organizations.
According to the President of ACIE, João Pacheco de Miranda, the association supplies its members with “… a wide network of contacts, promotes press conferences in line with the national agenda and helps to overcome some of the many bureaucratic obstacles that still characterize the halls of state and federal power.”
Miranda continues, “[Another goal is to] try to promote some informal meetings between the members in order to increase the spirit of unity and solidarity with professionals who are away from their roots and origins.”
Harold Emert, a journalist who has been a member of ACIE since 1983, has enjoyed being a part of the association because, as he says, “I have met all the Presidential candidates, traveled all over Brazil and gotten to interview all kinds of people I would never have met personally including Pele, Roberto Marinho, AC Magalhaes (the late governor of Bahia and Senator), Fernando Gabieira, human rights organizations, cabinet ministers, movie and TV stars (a visit to TV Globo studios), [and more].”
Moving forward, Miranda says that ACIE will “…seek to improve and meet the suggestions of the members. For example, we are trying to serve as a platform for intermediate accreditation in official events, which can save you hours and hours in endless queues.”
In order to build better connections with the national journalists in Brazil, in 1989 the association created the Prêmio Imprensa Estrangeira (Foreign Press Award), given to the Brazilian journalist who stands out the most in his or her field. This is in addition to photographic expositions, amongst other actions.
More recently, in response to the growing importance and quality of the Brazilian film industry, in 2004, ACIE created the ACIE Film Award (O Prêmio ACIE de Cinema), an annual award for Brazilian cinema, inspired by the Golden Globe. The award is currently divided into ten categories: Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Film (Fiction), Jury-Popular, Best Soundtrack and starting in 2011, Best Blockbuster, an award that is given to the Brazilian film which sold more than one million tickets.
Now, on Thursday, January 23rd, ACIE will partner up with The Rio Times to co-host the Rio Writer MixUp at the Gringo Café in Ipanema. The event will start at 7PM and last until 11PM, and will provide an opportunity for fellow writers in Rio to meet one another.