Winners of 2020 Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro

Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ “Bacurau”, that premiered in Cannes in 2019, won best fiction film, direction, original screenplay, special effects and actor (Silverio Pereira) at the 2020 Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro. “A vida invisível” (“The Invisible Life”) by Karim Ainouz was another multiple winner picking up the awards for adapted screenplay, art direction, costumes, cinematography and supporting actress (Fernanda Montenegro).

“Cine Holliúdy 2 – A chibata sideral”, by Halder Gomes, was chosen best comedy, and also won supporting actor for Chico Diaz, while best documentary went to Marcelo Gomes’ “I’m Saving Myself For When the Carnival Arrives” (“Estou me guardando para quando o carnaval chegar”). Best Animated Feature was “Tito e os Pássaros” by Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and André Catoto and Best Children’s Feature Film was Daniel Rezende’s  “Turma da Mônica – Laços”.

Sharing the actor prize with Silverio Pereira (“Bacurau”) was Fabrício Boliveira for his performance in“Simonal”, a film that also won the first time directing award for Leonardo Domingues as well as sound and soundtrack awards. Best actress went to Andrea Beltrão for “Hebe Camargo – The Star of Brazil”. 

The Audience award went to Pedro Amorim’s “Eu sou mais eu” and best foreign film was Oscar winner “Parasite” (South Korea) by Bong-Joon-Ho.

Full list of winners at the 2020 Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro

Fiction Feature Film: “Bacurau”

Direction: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, “Bacurau”

Direction – First Feature: Leonardo Domingues, “Simonal”

Actress: Andrea Beltrão, “Hebe Camargo – The Star of Brazil”

Actor: Silverio Pereira, “Bacurau”, and Fabrício Boliveira, “Simonal”

Supporting Actress: Fernanda Montenegro, “The Invisible Life” (“A vida invisível”)

Supporting Actor: Chico Diaz, “Cine Holliúdy 2”

Comedy Feature Film: “Cine Holliúdy 2”, Halder Gomes

Children’s Feature Film: “Turma da Mônica – Laços”, by Daniel Rezende

Best Animated Feature: “Tito e os Pássaros”, Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and André Catoto

Adapted Screenplay: “The Invisible Life”

Original Screenplay: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, “Bacurau”

Art Direction: Rodrigo Martinero, “The Invisible Life”

Visual Effects: Mikael Tanguy and Thierry Delobel, “Bacurau”

Costumes: Marina Franco, “The Invisible Life”

Makeup: Simone Batata, “Hebe – The Star of Brazil”

Cinematography: Helène Louvart, “The Invisible Life”

Editing – Fiction: Eduardo Serrano, “Bacurau”

Editing – Documentary: Karen Harley, “I’m Saving Myself For When the Carnival Arrives” (“Estou me guardando para quando o carnaval chegar”)

Sound: Marcelo Costa, Alessandro Larroca, Eduardo Virmond, “Simonal”

Soundtrack: Wilson Simoninha and Max de Castro, “Simonal”

Feature Documentary: “I’m Saving Myself For When the Carnival Arrives” (“Estou me guardando para quando o carnaval chegar”), Marcelo Gomes

Documentary Short Film: “Viva Alfredinho!”, Roberto Berliner

Animated Short Film: “Ressurreição”, Otto Guerra

Fiction Short Film: “Without Wings” (“Sem asas”), Renata Martins

Film- Audience Award: “Eu sou mais eu”, Pedro Amorim 

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (South Korea) , Bong-Joon-Ho

Best Latin American Feature: La odisea de los Giles (“Heroic Losers) (Argentina and Spain) Sebastián Borensztein

Pay TV Fiction Series: “Tuning” (“Sintonia”)

Pay TV Documentary Series: “Breaking the Taboo” (“Quebrando o tabu”)

Open TV Fiction Series: “Cine Holliúdy”

The Division (A Divisão): A film by Vicente Amorim

One of the most highly anticipated Brazilian films of 2019, Vicente Amorim’s The Division (A Divisão), that was introduced to international buyers during the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, is set across Rio de Janeiro.

Based and inspired by disturbing and shocking events that took place during the 1990s in Rio de Janeiro, The Division (A Divisão) is a dark, modern, violent, action-crime-thriller from the acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker, Vicente Amorim, and producer José Junior, Rio’s leading expert on urban violence and head of the NGO (and now production company) AfroReggae Audiovisual. The Division will receive a wide mid-2019 theatrical release in Brazil through Downtown Filmes and Paris Filmes, the companies behind the largest and most successful box-office releases in Brazil in recent years, and is being handled internationally by WTFilms that has introduced the film to the international buyers and distributors at the EFM during the Berlin Film Festival.

“The film is really about redemption, their redemption,” says Amorim, “ and what it is that sets our protagonists apart from the people around them. Although set in the 1990s, The Division is the genesis of what we are living through in Brazil today, with a President who defined his election campaign around violence. It is this need to move forward ­– regardless of the consequences and without measuring the risks – that represents a portrait of modern Brazil. The film reveals the inside of a machine that may start turning again at any moment.”

In the late 1990s, kidnapping became the crime of choice in Rio de Janeiro, with ten or more high profile cases each month. The population, at least those with money, were scared, and the authorities appeared paralysed as large ransoms were paid and some of the kidnapped were held for months or never returned. As corrupt police and officials looked the other way, justice was neither done or seen to be done, as the machine, and those linked to it, were funded by the money being generated from the kidnappings.

To stop the rot, and as a last resort, two police officers – one an incorruptible killing machine with over 100 kills to his name (played by Silvio Guindane); the other a dirty cop known for extorting money from the criminals (Erom Cordeiro) – were brought together and put in charge of Rio’s Anti-Kidnapping Division by the city’s Secretary for Public Safety & Security, a hard line general from the days of the military dictatorship, and his head of police, a socialist lawyer. The Division is their story and how by using very good intelligence and some questionable methods to solve the kidnappings, the two policemen come close to victory as the ends do seem to justify their means. But can too much intelligence be a dangerous thing? The film is based on the real events and the real people.

Amorim’s previous films have screened at, among others, the Toronto, Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Montreal, San Sebastian and Rio de Janeiro film festivals. They include the thriller Motorrad, selected for Toronto in 2017; the Brazil-Japanese co-production Dirty Hearts (Corações Sujos); the ethical thriller Good, with Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen, a film considered one of the ten best movies of 2008 by The Hollywood Reporter and Rex Reed (The New York Observer); and The Middle of the World (O Caminho das Nuvens) with Wagner Moura; as well as five successful television series.

Despite his work with Brazilian TV, Amorim has deliberately chosen not to cast well-known Brazilian television actors in The Division, as he wants the characters to be credible and real.

Working with the screenwriting team, and as a consultant on the film, is José Luiz Magalhães, a Rio police officer for over 30 years who led the actual team that ended the kidnapping wave in Rio de Janeiro. In The Division, his first work as a screenwriter, he tells his own story, and helps add essential context and the truth of what happened and who was involved.

“He is a brave man,” says Amorim. “As are all the people involved in this project. We have had to change names to keep people alive.”

Amorim was also helped on The Division by José Junior, Creative Director and CEO of AfroReggae Audiovisual (the film’s production company), who has created and produced several television series for channels in Brazil such as Multishow and GNT, including Urban Connections (Conexões Urbanas). He was also the producer of the multi-award winning documentary Favela Rising. The Division is AfroReggae Audiovisual’s first feature, and in Brazil it will also be expanded into a multi-part TV series for Globosat

“José gave us the access to people and places, and opened doors to locations where the real action took place,” adds Amorim. “He also made sure that the weaponry and other details used in the film are correct.”

Junior has mediated in a number of armed conflicts in Rio in a search for peace, and he is considered a pioneer for his work in helping free people in the favelas from a life of drugs and trafficking while helping to re-socialize them. His extraordinarily brave work at AfroReggae has been recognised internationally.

The film reunites Amorim and WTFilms, the Paris based sales company successfully sold the director’s Motorrad.  “Vicente’s style is immediately recognizable. He has a strong visual signature and the grittiness that buyers expect on Brazilian genre and action films,” explain WTFilms executives Dimitri Stephanides and Gregory Chambet.

Other partners in The Division include the co-producers Hungry Man, an international production company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and one of the world’s top production companies for commercials. Its short film Asad, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013, and the company was nominated for an International Emmy this year for its five-part Words In Series (Palavras Em Série).

Co-producers include the successful Brazilian companies TV Globo, GloboFilmes, Globosat, GloboPlay, and the film’s Brazilian distributors, Downtown Filmes and Paris Filmes.

“Bingo: The King of the Mornings” gets UK release prior to Oscars and BAFTAs

Brazilian director Daniel Rezende is visiting the UK to promote the release of his first feature, Bingo: The King of the Mornings, a hit in Brazil that is to be released of 15 December in the UK. The film has been submitted by Brazil for both the Academy Awards and the BAFTAS.

Although the film is Rezende’s first feature, the director already has an impressive CV which includes his Academy Award nominated and BAFTA winning editing work on the Brazilian cult classic, City of God (2002), as well as his work on Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (2011), Robocop (2014), Blindness  (2008) and The Motorcycle Diaries  (2004).

Bingo tells the true story of Augusto (Vladimir Brichta), an irreverent Brazilian actor who was searching for his place in the spotlight. Augusto was an actor hungry for a place in the spotlight, following in the footsteps of his mother, a respected stage artist in the 1950’s. While starring in soft porn and TV soap operas, Augusto finally got the chance to conquer the crowds when he was cast as “BINGO”, a clown who hosted a children’s colourful morning TV programme. With his irreverent humour and natural talent, the show became a huge hit in Brazil, but a clause in his contract forbade him from revealing his true identity behind the mask. A Brazilian Stig!

In the process of finding stardom Augusto became an anonymous celebrity. With his makeup on, he brought happiness to children across Brazil, but not to his own son, Gabriel, that saw his father distancing himself from him as he went in search of recognition.

Filled with irony and humour and an exaggerated pop look from the backstage universe of the Brazilian 80’s television, Bingo: The King of the Mornings tells the incredible and surreal story of a man that whilst looking for his artistic value, ends up finding his personal decay.

It is not easy to define Bingo by picking out only one matter,” explains Rezende. “Essentially it is about a personal search for recognition, about a man’s quest to find his place in the spotlight that ends up hidden behind a mask. There’s something very contemporary in this topic, we all want to be recognised by our parents, by our children, by our friends. But it is also a film about the relationship between father and son. The protagonist is in such a crazy hunt to be recognised as an artist that he ends up distancing himself from his son. He is on TV, making a lot of children laugh every day, but not his own.”