By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Aiming to catch the attention of larger audiences every year, the 22nd edition of the Curta Cinema (Short Film) festival will be showing 300 short movies from Brazilian and international filmmakers. The festival this year started on November 1st and ends Thursday, November 8th, and the panel of fifteen judges chose the best of 4,000 submissions.
Organizers are happy with the growth and progress of the festival. Around twenty years ago in the 1990s, the festival had taken it first steps by showing only twelve national films.
Now, besides a much higher number in films to show the public, the event also boasts of showcasing movies that could qualify for Oscars and BAFTAs nominations.
Founder and director of Curta Cinema, Ailton Franco, said: “We were the first Brazilian festival to qualify films so they could be nominated for an Oscar, and a BAFTA from the UK.”
“This year we received 3,500 international submissions and 500 national, which goes to show the importance of the event and of Rio de Janeiro as a capital of culture.”
Programming coordinator Paulo Roberto Jr. says he hopes even more people come to watch the films than the previous year. He describes: “We have a specific type of public that has been coming to the festival for 22 years.”
“We always try to make this number grow and from my perception of showings this year, it seems like there has been an increase in the number of the audience.” he adds.
“These are movies that are not of the commercial standard, someone who leaves their house to watch a short film is not the same as someone who goes to the cinema for a blockbuster – they want to see something different. [I hope they leave] with a different idea of cinema.”
Roberto says the festival saw extreme success in its opening night, bringing around 400 people to the historical Odeon Petrobras cinema in the center of Rio, a tough venue to fill up. He said: “The place was practically full on opening night. There were around 400 people in the Odeon, which is something not even Tropa de Elite [Elite Squad] was able to do.”
The organizers of the festival have divided the short films into categories to make the showings easier to watch and understand. Categories include national and international competitions, focus on the U.S., children’s movies, animations, teen and much more.
“The twenty years of the event allow the public to follow the career of their favorite producers. We will be showing films by Dellani Lima, Guto Parente and Iris Junges,” says Roberto.
But when asked what showing he recommends to the public, he simply answers: “All of them! There isn’t a day better than the others.”
On the last two days of the festival the locations still screening films are: Centro Cultural Justiça Federal (Centro), Instituto Moreira Salles (Gávea) and Odeon Petrobras (Cinelândia). The full program is available at the festival web site – www.curtacinema.com.br.