Note from BW of Brazil: More great news! As we have seen in number of recent posts over the past few years, Afro-Brazilian filmmakers are increasingly stepping forward and taking the initiative to record films from the black perspective, a perspective that Brazil’s movie industry simply refuses to present! Whether we speak of the black presence in front of the camera, which is minuscule, or in terms of direction behind the scenes, which is almost nothing, similar to their position in the fashion industry, in cinema Afro-Brazilians suffer an almost complete ‘black out’. But with the rise of a new generation of daring filmmakers, this is slowly beginning to change. Which is why the news of the victory of the short film featured in today’s post is so exciting! Not only did this film star Afro-Brazilian actors, the cast and crew, direction and production also featured the talent of black filmmakers! I haven’t see this film but, similar to the underground hit K-Bela, it is definitely on the ‘to see’ list!
Young black filmmakers win movie award
by Pedro Borges – Photos: Nicolas Barbosa
The film, produced with limited technical and financial resources, is highly rated by critics
The film Siyanda, which in Zulu means nós estamos crescendo (we are growing), won the award for best screenplay and achieved the 3rd best film at the Festival72horas, at a ceremony in Cinelândia, in Odeon cinema June 25th. The filming took place between June 26th and 29th in the port area of Rio de Janeiro, a perimeter determined award’s organization.
Siyanda is a black woman rejected for a job vacancy that collapses in despair and cries. The character, played by actress Gambia Mariama Bah, begins to walk through downtown Rio de Janeiro, a fact that arouses the attention of ancestral spirits who come to accompany her walk to where the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) is located.
Among the top 15 short films presented at the event, the two awards to the Siyanda film are extremely important for the strengthening of Brazilian cinema, according to Hugo Lima, writer of the work. “The film has to be inundated by our vision and sensitivity; a group of blacks speaking of blackness in a media dominated by whites. Our brothers and sisters need to see themselves on movie screens always in a positive way, and that is what we are trying to do. With all the difficulties, we did it. I believe that our importance lies in having achieved prominence at a film festival talking directly to black people.”
The achievement is cause for great projections for the group of filmmakers and black artists who plan to continue to produce and participate in festivals. “We understand this event as an opportunity to expose our point of view in the audiovisual. We (blacks) were systematically excluded from spaces of projection and, in spite of this, we managed to find ways to demonstrate our multiple artistic talents, today there is the possibility of occupying certain spaces that have been denied to us. We have as an objective to enter the film in more festivals and we are also producing a new short film and a documentary about Law 10.639, called Quem nos educa? (Who teaches us?)
Screenplay: Hugo Lima, Nathali de Deus, Lumena Aleluia
Actors: Mariama Bah, Lumena Aleluia, Carolina Netto, Alessandro Conceição, Cristiano Mattos, Jonh Conceição and Luciane Dom
Production: Hugo Lima, Nathali de Deus and Nathália Rodrigues
Technical resources: 2 semi-professional cameras (t3i), 1 tripod, 1 monopod and 1 bouncer
Source: Alma Preta
This is excellent news! The Black collective conscious of Brazil has definitely come alive and this is even more evidence of that. As is the case in the US, I suspect Brazilians are also getting sick of the lack of creativity in the projects that white people produce. I hope more Black Brazilians will keep this momentum going and continue to create, fund, a d produce their own work!