By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Between September 26th and October 10th, the 2013 Festival do Rio, the city’s annual film festival, is set to showcase over 350 of the year’s best national and international film releases. With last year’s Best Picture winner “O Som ao Redor” recently submitted as Brazil’s bid in the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Film category, it is time to take a closer look at the Brazilian films chasing the coveted Redentor Trophies.

Premiere Brasil Statues, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Redentor trophies await the Premiere Brasil winners, photo courtesy of Festival do Rio.

The full-length fiction category features eleven films, including “Os Amigos” (Best Friends), a day in the life of Théo that begins with the funeral of his childhood friend and fuels his reminiscences. The controversial tale of a gay love affair between a soldier and a young anarchist during the military coup of 1978 stands out as one of the more gripping storylines, whilst “O Lobo Atrás da Porta” (The Wolf at the Door), is a harrowing story of child abduction starring last year’s Best Actress winner Leandra Leal, who received the gong for her role in “Eden”.

There are eight films in the ever eye-opening full-length documentary category, including “Cativas – Presas pelo Coração” (Captive Hearts), the story of seven women desperately trying to maintain their relationships with prison inmates. “Cidade de Deus- 10 Anos Depois” (City of God – 10 Years Later) takes a look at the lives of the actors, mostly drawn from the community itself and with little or no experience, who made up the cast of the highly acclaimed film City Of God, and “Histórias de Arcanjo – um documentario sobre Tim Lopes”, takes an in-depth look at the life of the man considered to be Brazil’s greatest investigative reporter of all time.

The Mostra Novos Rumos section is dedicated to the work of latest breed of Brazilian filmmakers and will feature eight films – six fiction and two documentaries. Among those in the running are Frederico Machado’s portrait of a family break down in the interior of Brazil, “O Exercício do Caos” (The Exercise of Chaos), and Aragão’s horrific tale of mutated fish and shellfish wreaking havoc in a small fishing village, “Mar Negro” (Dark Sea).

“O Lobo Atrás da Porta” (A Wolf at the Door), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Leandra Leal stars in Première Brasil competitor “O Lobo Atrás da Porta”, photo courtesy of Festival do Rio.

Once again, the 2013 festival also features a host of special screenings paying homage to some of cinema’s all-time greats, both in front of, and behind, the camera. Nine of U.S. director Paul Schrader’s best-known works, including “American Gigolo” and the Dennis Hopper-starring “Witch Hunt” will be shown throughout the festival.

Goldie Goes Rio! presents three of the much-loved Hollywood star Goldie Hawn’s biggest films; “The First Wive’s Club”, “Shampoo” and “Death Becomes Her”, and Alfred Hitchcock is similarly honored with a triumvirate of some of his best work.

The Midnight Movies section features a selection of quirky works from around the world like “Lil Bub and Friendz”, Vice Magazine’s documentary about the internet’s favorite, eternally youthful cat, and elsewhere the animation, environmental and gay cinema genres are all well covered in the programming.

The 2013 Festival do Rio, including screenings of the Première Brasil selections, will run across over thirty of the city’s cinema screens, and a full, user-friendly program can be found on the official website (


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