By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Bringing together teams of amateur and professional directors, writers, and production crews with the challenge to create a short film from start to finish within seventy-two hours, the 72HORAS Rio Festival de Filmes returns to Rio de Janeiro’s Zona Portuária (Port Zone) for its second edition on April 30th and will run through May 3rd.
With registration for teams wishing to participate remaining open until April 10th, festival organizers are anticipating a larger turnout this year. During the first edition, there were 507 participants and 39 short films were completed.
The festival was created by New Zealand expatriate and filmmaker Nicole Freeman and Cristiano Vicente.
“I arrived in Rio in late 2012,” Freeman told The Rio Times. “I moved to the Zona Portuária with my husband and I was struck by the richness of the culture we have here. The streets are full of stories – above and below the stones.”
“I was talking to Cristiano Vicente, the co-producer of the festival,” Freeman continued, “about how this region is full of material to make a film about and enough material to tell a different story each day. I told him about a festival that we have in New Zealand that challenges people to make a film in 48 hours. He jumped, liked the idea and said … Let’s do it! Thus, 72HORAS RIO was born.”
Due to the urbanization project Porto Maravilha (Marvelous Port), Rio de Janeiro’s Port Zone, has seen numerous renovations, structural projects, new developments and an increase in the popularity of its cultural scene during recent years. The 72HORAS Rio Festival de Filmes was partially created in the hopes of artistically capturing this rapidly changing community.
“During 72HORAS RIO 2014, seeing those 507 people running around with super positive energy was beautiful!” said Freeman, adding, “During the days of filming, to see the creation taking place in the streets and then in the end, to see the films shown on a huge screen with a red carpet celebrating the strength of it all, the energy was really wonderful!”
This year’s edition of the festival will officially begin on April 30th at 6PM. Teams will be told a phrase and an object that must be included in their up to six-minute short films. They will then have until May 3rd at 6PM to script, shoot, edit, and submit their films.
The completed films will be screened on May 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th. An awards ceremony will then take place on Friday, May 15th with over R$20,000 in prizes awarded to winners of the competition.
Completed films from last year’s festival were shown on Canal Futura (the Brazilian Channel, Future) and were screened at the 72HORAS RIO Cineclube Vizinhos do MAR (72 hours Rio Film Society), a monthly film club held in the Museu de Arte do Rio. Additionally, many of the films were featured in and were awarded prizes in other film festivals in both Brazil and abroad.
When asked what benefits she thought the festival offered filmmakers, Freeman said that in addition to walking away with a completed film, the participants, by being given a specific amount of limited time in which to create that film, “increase their understanding of what they are capable of.”
Freeman later added, “Participants come into contact with other people working in the audiovisual field, making contacts, increasing their networking circle. In this profession, that is very important.”
Registration for the festival is free and can be completed on the 72HORAS RIO website. Additionally, see the site for more information about this year’s festival and see the teaser video for the 2015 edition of the festival here, on Vimeo.