By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 2012 Rio International Film Festival ended last week, taking with it the red carpets and camera flashes.  Those cinephiles still looking for cutting edge cinema don’t have to wait until next October though, as October 23rd opens the 1st edition of the International Urban Arts Film Festival, Caradura, at Caixa Cultural.

International Urban Arts Film Festival, Caradura
Work as included in the 2007 film Bomb It, photo by Arissas Mutlimidia.

Though much smaller in scale, Caradura will be screening a collection of films that speak to the heart of the urban art movement in Brazil.  The festival, which runs through November 4th, is a must for anyone who has walked through Rio admiring the street art for which the city is revered.

The festival is being produced by Arissas Multimidia, a local company that works in independent film production, video and photography.  The agency is known locally for its work with the new generation of Brazilian filmmakers, and holds the largest collection of audiovisual documentation of street art in Rio de Janeiro.

“Being ‘caradura’ is to be audacious, daring, shameless,” explains Arissas co-founder Clarissa Pivetta. “The festival is an exhibition that focuses on what is most authentic in contemporary urban art: its daring and rebelliousness.”

“It is an invitation to contemplate the chaos and poetry that is exploding in this art movement in large urban centers, revealing the essence of the interaction between man, art and public space,” she continues.

Local street artist, and the festival’s art director, Luis Otavio Madruga echoes Pivetta’s sentiment. “This festival aims to bring to the public what’s more authentic and real in this culture.”

Filmmaker and festival curator Pablo Aravena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Filmmaker and festival curator Pablo Aravena, photo by Arissas Multimidia.

Canada-based Pablo Aravena, the event’s curator, filmmaker, and international curator of street art, has carefully selected the films for the festival; thirty films from the past four decades, without geographic boundaries, that have contributed to the formation of the contemporary urban language.

The festival, the first of its kind in Rio, follows in the tradition of recent events throughout the world that have turned the camera on urban art.

The Street Art film festival, held at the Tate Modern art gallery in London in 2008; the annual Rhythm of the Line graffiti and hip-hop film in Berlin; and the 2009 festival Kings of the City in New York City, are only a few of the recent events that have explored the development of street art around the world.

“The selection in the festival is a validation of the street art film genre.  We are mixing Agnes Varda with the award-winning ‘Defense D’Afficher, a selection that follows the development of urban art as told through cinema.  A testament to the acceptance of the art movement, and the films about the movement,” says Aravena.

In making the selection for the festival, Aravena tried to choose films that captured the fleeting nature of street art.

The lineup is impressive, including: films from the late seventies (among them a documentary by avant-garde film director Chris Marker), cinematic accounts of the urban art boom in the early eighties (including “Wild Style,” which was also shown at Rio International Film Festival), and more recent street art cult classics (such as “Bomb It”).

Arissas, with Aravena’s help, has put together a festival that validates the booming street art scene in Rio.  It is sometimes difficult to step away from the urban masterpieces the streets of Rio offer, but for this festival street art connoisseurs are encouraged to go inside.

What: Caradura: 1st International Urban Arts Film Festival
Where: Caixa Cultural (Cinema 2) – Rua Almirante Barroso, 25 – Centro
When: October 23rd to November 4th
Price: R$2


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