By Lindsay Spratt, Sub Editor

US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, photo by François Durand.
US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, photo by François Durand.

RIO DE JANEIRO – With the Rio Film Festival in full swing comes another celluloid treat, this time for the city’s fashionistas. The fourth edition of ‘FilmeFashion’ opened at the Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB) this Tuesday, October 6 and will run until next Wednesday, October 14. It is the first time that FilmeFashion has debuted in Rio before making its way to São Paulo.

Each FilmeFashion takes inspiration from a chosen theme, and this time fashion documentaries are in the spotlight due to their recent “boom” in the past five years, according to the curator of the event, journalist Alexandra Farah.

Once documentaries on fashion were a rarity, but now in the age of reality television and global pop-culture, interest in the players behind fashion’s whirlwind of shows, trends and glossy photos has grown enormously.

FilmeFashion seeks to provide not just entertainment for its audience, but also something of an education for budding designers, stylists and journalists. Farah is particularly proud of this aspect of FilmeFashion. “This FilmeFashion is almost a class, something very didactic and democratic. It brings films together in a kind of intensive course for anyone who writes about fashion, is interested in it, or just wants to know more about it” she says.

International documentaries based on the big four biannual fashion shows in London, New York, Paris and Milan will dominate the festival, as well as profiles on designers and stylists. New, unedited shorts from Brazilian documentary-makers will provide the balance between the global and the home-grown.

Among the festival’s many offerings will be the eagerly-anticipated ‘The September Issue’ which offers an insight into the making of fashion magazine US Vogue’s biggest edition of the year, in this case that of 2007. This behind-the-designer-sunglasses glimpse of the world-famous and globally-influential editor, Anna Wintour, is a must for anyone interested in fashion or the publishing industry.

Another fashion celebrity in FilmeFashion’s line-up is featured in ‘Beyond Biba: A Portrait of Barbara Hulanicki’. The documentary tells the story of British fashion-designer Barbara Hulanicki, the woman behind the iconic London label ‘Biba’ which characterized the fashion of the 1960s and 70s. After closing her shop in 1976, Hulanicki now designs interiors and lives in Miami. The film explores the success and leagacy of the Biba brand, and the extraordinary life of the woman behind it.

Alexandra Farah, FilmeFashion's curator, photo by www.gemagema.tv.
Alexandra Farah, FilmeFashion's curator, photo by www.gemagema.tv.

In a four-part series entitled ‘The Day Before’, fashion documentary-maker and journalist Loïc Prigent offers a glimpse into the thirty-six hours before a haute couture collection hits the catwalk. The fashion houses featured are giants of the industry, including Fendi by Karl Largerfeld, Sonia Rykiel and Jean Paul Gaultier. His focus is more on the characters than the clothes, from distraught PR and overworked interns to the designers themselves and provides yet another invaluable insight into what he describes as the “circus” of fashion.

Among the Brazilian short films will be one directed by Dacio Pinheiro, a selection chosen by the group GemaTV and ‘Bethy Lagardere’ by Richard Luiz which will also be shown in the feature-film section under the title ‘Top Models: A Brazilian Fairy Tale’.

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For more details about FilmeFashion, consult CCBB’s website.

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