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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A spirited discussion between Rio-based Guardian journalist, Glenn Greenwald and journalist and co-writer of the screenplay for “Guerras Sujas” (Dirty Wars), Jeremy Scahill, kicked off Festival do Rio’s international debate series on the afternoon of September 28th. The debates about films and culture are set to continue with six additional in-depth post-screening discussions during the city’s annual film festival.

Rio Film Festival Debates Continue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Still from director Jason O’Hara’s “Ritmos De Resistencia,” photo courtesy of Festival do Rio.

Director Maximiliano Pelosi will follow next with his round-table debate, “Two Ties, Two Bouquets, Gay Marriage on the Agenda” after a 4:30PM screening of his documentary “Uma Família Gay” (A Gay Family) on Sunday, September 29th at C.C. Justiça Federal 1.

The debate will focus on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Argentina and Pelosi’s internal debate as an Argentinian trying make his union with his partner official or not.

Next, on October 2nd, again at C.C. Justiça Federal 1, directors of Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross will debate the trials and tribulations of NGO volunteers.

The discussion, “Hostage of the Profession,” will be held after a 6:30 PM showing of “Acesso à Zona de Risco” (Access to the Danger Zone), a documentary focusing on the work of NGO volunteers, like the Red Cross, in war zones in Somalia, Afghanistan and the Congo.

On Friday, October 4th, director of “Ritmos de Resistência” (Rhythms of Resistance), Jason O’Hara and screenwriter Marcia Honorato will be joined by Jailson de Souza e Silva of Observatório de Favelas at Oi Futuro in Ipanema to discuss favela life in “Public Safety?.” The debate will follow a 3:30 PM screening of O’Hara’s film about favela artists and musicians questioning the impact of the Pacifying Police Units‘ (UPPs) arrival in their communities.

Rio Film Festival Debates Continue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Still from “99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film”, photo courtesy of Festival do Rio.

Later at cultural space Oi Futuro in Ipanema, the directors of the film “99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film,” Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites, will be joined by representatives of Occupy Câmera to discuss the topic “Occupy the World,” the filmmakers’ call for global participation in the Occupy Movement.

On October 4th, Ipanema’s Oi Futuro will host a debate on the life of journalist Tim Hetherington following the 2PM showing of Sebastian Junger’s “Como Chego na Linha de Frente? Vida de Tim Hetherington” (Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington).

The documentary pays homage to the life and work of the director and photographer, Tim Hetherington, who was killed while covering the Libyan conflict shortly after the premiere of his critically acclaimed documentary, “Restrepo”.

October 6th will see a discussion on sexuality and Christianity, at C.C. Justiça Federal 1. Director of Political Research Associates Tarso Ramos and Jandira Queiroz of Amnesty International will debate the topic “God is Homophobic?” after a 4:30 PM screening of the film “God Loves Uganda“, a documentary about the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda by fundamentalist Christians.

“This is an especially good year for hard-hitting documentaries,” Vik Birkbeck, curator of the Frontiers section of Festival do Rio, told The Rio Times.

“From the extraordinary – ‘The Art of Killing’ in which members of the Indonesian hit-squads, who have enjoyed 30 years of power and prosperity after the military take-over and subsequent killing spree, resolve not only to relate the events of their gory past but to enact them, to ‘Dirty Wars,’ journalist Jeremy Scahill’s investigation into the American hit-list and the drone wars.

“‘Free Angela’ brings together archival footage and contemporary interviews to reveal Angela Davis, icon of the seventies,” she continued. “‘99% Occupy’ is a portrait of the America which refuses to keep quiet and stand in line reflected over the past few months with a new spirit of rebellion here in the land of Carnival.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you-to-date with important news as it happens.

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