Brazilian Cinema Opens Up to African Heritage

  • Variety
Brazilian Cinema Opens Up to African Heritage
In 2018, just 4% of funding applications for Brazil’s Fundo Sectorial do Audiovisual came from black filmmakers. This year, the two biggest Brazilian movies at Berlin, competition entry “All the Dead Ones” and Panorama player “Shine Your Eyes,” throw sharp focus on Brazil’s majority black community.

That’s no coincidence. Brazil has an extraordinary 13 features in major Berlinale sections, 19 films overall, an all-time record making it Berlin’s fourth-largest national presence following Germany, France and the U.S.

Explanations cut several ways. For Brazil, this year’s Berlinale presence marks a long-term revolution. Last century, Brazil remained largely turned in on itself, cut off from the rest of Latin America by its Portuguese language and own massive market.

Cinema was the same. “At the turn of the century, very few filmmakers — Caca Diegues, Walter Salles, Fernando Meirelles — looked to secure festival berths,” recalls André Sturm, who launched Brazilian export board
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