Encontros com o Cinema Brasileiro ("Encounters with Brazilian Cinema") is a new project created in partnership with the country's national cinema agency (ANCINE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aimed at strengthening the presence of Brazilian films in the largest and most prestigious film festivals around the world, and, as a result, expand the influence and representation of Brazilian cinema in the international marketplace.
The announcement was made earlier today, via press release.
12 international top-tier film festivals (including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno, San Sebastian, IDFA, Shanghai, BAFICI and Rome) were "carefully selected," and, starting this March, representatives from each will be brought to Rio de Janeiro for four days, where they will have the opportunity to watch a selection of local films recently completed or near completion, for consideration to screen at their festivals.
In addition to the screening sessions, the reps will also meet with local directors and producers, providing what the press release calls an "immersion in Brazilian cinema today."
In talking about the inportance of this initiative, the CEO of ANCINE, Manoel Rangel, says: "It is crucial for any national cinema, with respect to its visibility and international penetration, be strategically well represented in this group of festivals."
Plans are for these gatherings to happen 3 times a year - in March, June and November - divided according to the timing of each festival's submission date requirements.
Brazilian filmmakers who want their films to be considered for this national lottery, are advised to register via the ANCINE website at www.ancine.gov.br.
The films eventually not selected for showcase to the festival reps will be made available to those reps in DVD format.
Let's hope that there's some Afro Brazilian representation at these events.
This sounds like it could get pricey - flying in all those festival curators, putting them up in likely lavish hotels for several days (the intent is to woo them obviously), 3 times a year, rounding up a solid group of local films to show them, hoping that they select some of them for their festivals, etc.
But then again, this is a national initiative. And Brazil is one of the BRIC countries, so, we could say that it's all part of an ongoing effort to expand the country's reach and sphere of influence.
I wonder if a similar strategy could be introduced in parts of Africa, the Caribbean, or even right here in the USA; an incubator of sorts, for black cinema specifically... hmm... I guess we do kind of do that already here on S&A. But something more formal could be a good idea. Will require a lot of effort though.