Press conference of Brazilian Film Day during the Second BRICS Film Festival (XIA YUANYUAN)
While other members of the Brazilian delegation who arrived in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, to attend the five-day Second BRICS Film Festival struggled to make themselves understood, the producer-director pair of Claudia da Natividade and Marcos Jorge had a smooth sailing, thanks to their 14-year-old son Pedro.
"Since the last three years, Pedro has been studying in a Chinese school in Sao Paulo and he interpreted for us," said Da Natividade, Executive Producer of Zencrane Films, the production house she founded in 2000 with Jorge, and which has since made films that have gone on to collect over 50 awards.
Jorge's 2007 film Mundo Cao (In Dog's World) is among the entries to be screened in the non-competitive section of the Second BRICS Film Festival, which was inaugurated on June 23. While the first day was the Chinese Film Day, June 24 is the Brazilian Film Day, showcasing the film culture of the South American country more famous for its football and samba.
The day started with the screening of Nise: O Coracao Da Loucura (Nise: The Heart of Madness), a film about a woman's battle to make treatment for schizophrenia more humane and reminiscent of the Hollywood classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest directed by Milos Forman in the 1970s.
Director Robert Berlino's 2014 film is in the competition section along with Jules and Dolores, an action film by Caito Ortiz about a gambler's gambit going wrong.
The film festival will also screen the Brazilian classic Bozje Mesto (City of God) by Fernando Meirelles, which has generated much interest among attendees, especially with the presence of the cast in Chengdu.
While the Brazilians said they were amazed by the infrastructure of Chengdu and the warmth of its people, the Chinese hosts were also touched when the entire delegation opened their conversations with a nihao (hello in Chinese), ending with a xiexie (thank you in Chinese).
Jorge, who met Chinese director Jia Zhangke in Chengdu and watched Jia's film Revive, said he was impressed. Revive is a short film that seamlessly weaves ancient Chinese culture with today's China, and was screened on June 23 as part of the first BRICS film Where Has Time Gone?.
The film is a collection of five shorts by five directors from BRICS countries based on the theme of time.
Da Natividade, his producer as well as his wife, said the BRICS Film Festival has made her think of the people who work in Brazil.
"While the people in the industry are rich and powerful, those who work as sellers of Chinese goods and laborers are not visible though they also contribute to the economy," she said. "Making films on them would be a great opportunity to give them visibility."
(Reporting from Chengdu)