By Sibel Tinar, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – With the arrival of Festival do Rio 2010 (Rio International Film Festival), the city’s world-famous, tanned beachgoers have quickly been outnumbered by cinema-lovers lining up in front of movie theaters, browsing through their program magazines and festival catalogs.
The artistic and entertainment value of the festival, however, is not limited to the hundreds of movies being screened all over the city. The visual and intellectual creativity, craftsmanship, technology, and collaboration that fuels the film industry also finds a non-cinematic outlet in the Pavilhão do Festival (Festival Pavilion), located in the visually striking Centro Cultural Ação da Cidadania, a converted warehouse in the city’s port region.
The spacious, two-story Pavilion gives the impression of a contemporary, almost futuristic, cinema museum and an exhibition of the original costumes from recent or upcoming movies such as Tropa de Elite 2, and A Suprema Felicidade greet the visitors on their way to the welcome desk.
Inside, life-sized action figures (including a BOPE officer and a stunt double), state-of-the-art film equipment, and an area designated for video games based on movies surround the numerous lounges. Each is decorated with a distinct, contemporary flavor, including lounge chairs, pillows that make up a small pyramid, beanbags, and even beds for a truly relaxed atmosphere.
The mezzanine is dedicated to the Roman Polanski exhibition, a pictorial and photographic homage to the master director, telling the story of his career chronologically, with photos and posters serving as a visual memory lane.
The exhibits, not works of cinema themselves but existing because of it, expose the nature of this complex medium that needs different arts and technologies to define itself, and eventually create something bigger than the sum of its parts.
Surrounded by so many elements that either help create or are derived from cinema, it is easy to forget that the Pavilion is actually the headquarters of RioMarket, where the industry seminars take place, as well as the locale of the movie theater that twice-daily hosts the “popular sessions” of Premiere Brasil films in competition for only R$2.
The Festival Pavilion, on the other hand, has not forgotten that it is home to film industry professionals from around the world, as evidenced by the large installation of a movie set complete with lighting, cameras, set decoration, props, costumes, dollies, and even intricate electrical wiring. Created by CIA-RIO (Audiovisual Infrastructure Center of Rio), along with its fourteen partners a one-stop shop for film production, the eye-catching installation with a futuristic feel serves both as an exhibition item and a reminder of the ‘office’ for the visiting industry professionals.
For those who want to satisfy their intellectual cravings and balance out the visual over-stimulation, a small bookshop that belongs to Imprensa Oficial could provide a tonic. On display are hundreds of titles consisting of biographies of prominent directors and actors, original screenplays, and critical tomes, which, combined with the fact that it is a state-run business under the Office of Communications, exudes hope on the front of film appreciation and studies as well.
The Pavilion, tastefully embellished with various reminders that it is being embraced by the Cidade Maravilhosa, has been created by the organizers of the festival as an integral part of the two-week event. Straddling a gray area between art gallery, expo, and museum, the Festival Pavilion tactfully puts the visual and cinematic capabilities of Rio de Janeiro on display, and celebrates the city’s reputation as the audiovisual capital of Latin America.