Note from BW of Brazil: It’s always nice to bring our readers people who making things happen! We first introduced you to this young lady last June. But since then Stefanie Durval has kept it moving! Just a few weeks ago, she shook up the stage at a popular fashion event and next month, her film project is set to be released! This is great news on both fronts because, as we have seen, black women are consistently passed over on fashion runways and continue to have a meager existence in cinema. But in a manner that shows the persistence of this community, talented Afro-Brazilians are finding ways to break down barriers in film and fashion! And as a black woman, Stefanie gets it! Check out her interview below. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her as well her upcoming film! Keep it moving Stefanie!
Actress Stefanie Durval is protagonist of the film Quebrando as Pernas (Breaking the legs). Stefanie is the Rainha da Cidade de Deus (Queen of City of God)
Courtesy of Revista Styllus
After appearing in the novela Salve Jorge in 2012, she was also featured in the film Não Pare na Pista – A melhor história de Paulo Coelho and Homens, Mulheres e Vinho tinto – O filme. In addition to having participated in the fitness teaser Sonhos. Now she’s had having the opportunity to star in a short film.
It is a cast with a majority black cast. “I play Helen who is the mother of Heloisa (also protagonist). I had the opportunity to play opposite the actor André Ramiro (of the blockbuster film Tropa de Elite) doing a romantic scene in a forest.
In the story he’s the father of my daughter, that he abandoned … The girl has the dream of seeing her parents together again, this affects the child so much psychologically child that she has fantasies (dreaming) of the reunion of her parents.
Helen is a warrior woman who became pregnant in adolescence and raised her daughter alone. This ends the depriving her of living out some dreams, especially the dreams of being an actress. A black actress, educated, living in the 1980s ends up blind in an accident. She gives it all up to give a good education to Heloisa.
“My first film as protagonist and mother. I am very happy with the opportunity to have done a great job. And of having the gift of working with André Ramiro of whom I’m a fan.”
Directed by Lucas Nascimento, costume by Joana Bueno, makeup by Sylvia Victorian and the great staff.
Actress and model Stefanie Durval, was featured in Fevest Nova Friburgo
Courtesy of Portal Áfricas
The actress and model Stefanie Durval, representing the black beauty of Rio’s communities, Cidade de Deus and Vidigal was featured in the Fevest event, which is the most important Brazilian fair in the intimate apparel, beach, fitness and raw materials sector. It is also the main business event I Nova Friburgo, the largest polo underwear manufacturer nationwide.
“It was an honor to represent one of the most beautiful and distinctive beauties. Because we are not all alike. We have different features, hair and bodies.”
“The highlight in the event was very well received and opened quite a few doors in the artistic area. I am currently studying performing arts, because I have the dream of being recognized by my acting work. I am passionate about fashion as well and have taken advantage of this moment to do more work related to fashion. Black artists are gaining more space. The highlight at the event was proof of that. Moreover it happens in a simple form. I miss seeing more black women in the novelas,” said Stefanie.
Photo credits. Make up by Agatha Copetti. Photography by Márcio Romano
Exclusive: African beauty in Fevest
Courtesy of Textília.net
Model Stefanie Durval, 22, has much to say. Born in a Rio de Janeiro communities, she knows very well that Brazil is far from being a country without prejudice – and she feels this in the fashion world, which accepts the afro beauty as long as its “esbranquiçada” (whitish) with shaved or straightened hair. The owner of a full head of hair with all the power of the raça negra (black race), she says that she feels somewhat responsible for a challenge to this establishment and is preparing to shake up the industry after much applause of her presentation in the Fevest 2015 that invited her after a contest for models in Rio de Janeiro.
Stefanie Durval: That was not my debut, I have worked as a model ever since he was 8 years old. I’m from Vidigal but always acted in films, theater and television programs. They already told me that I have too much security on the catwalk for this artistic baggage, even for theater, because you learn to enter into a character to challenge yourself. Being in an event like the Fevest outside of my comfort zone is a gift. I came with the best of expectations with the idea that I am representing: the beauty of the communities of Rio de Janeiro. I wanted to show this hope, this joy that negras cariocas (Rio’s black women) have, assuming our roots. When I stepped on the catwalk, I had fewer entries than the other models, I knew that I had fewer chances to show my personality. Besides the hot guys who walked, I was the only one applauded. This exchange with the audience is wonderful, I love it. I felt myself on stage!
Itt: What’s the standard of beauty? What do you consider the standard?
Stefanie: Fashion has a standard of beauty, yes! In São Paulo the girls are branquinhas (white), tall and super fashion, they don’t even smile straight. But in Rio girls are encorpadinhas (curvy), although beauty still values the blond with light eyes, branquinha. Even the dark-haired morena (brunette) has to be mais clarinha (lighter). There is no acceptance of the black model with cabelo afro (afro textured hair). There are agencies that don’t accept them. The hair needs to be alisado (straightened).
Itt: Was Fashion Rio skipping this edition something that bothered you?
Stefanie: It bothered the whole market, not just the models. It is an irreparable loss. We were already in the process of that Fashion Rio should be open to black models because they cared about the girls from São Paulo to complete the casting. When there were one or two models they are always straightened or bald. Or for a more ethnic tone, they would say: let’s find a girl with cabelo afro!
Itt: Will you continue your studies or take the time to pursue a modeling career?
Stefanie: I’m taking performing arts, I am an artist and I now have an agent and general assistance team. But we’re even put together an artistic group of black models and artists to encourage afro culture. We started a project for a film and we already have 30 actors in the cast. It should be released in September, speaking exactly of the everyday of blacks in Brazil, only with real stories. We are doing lab every Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. The GPMS (Group Stage of the Thousand Dreams) is doing laboratories for two months to put it in festivals. We are even thinking of doing a musical talking about samba, “Eu sou o samba” (I am the samba).