Third Brazilian Film Festival to be Held at Valencia Community College March 25-April 1

The Third Valencia Brazilian Film Festival runs Thursday, March 25-Thursday, April 1 with screenings at three of the college’s campuses. The festival will showcase Brazilian films “My Name Isn’t Johnny,” “Life is What You Make it: An Urban Odyssey,” “In Therapy,” and “A Gastronomic Story.”

The free film series was launched by Richard Sansone, professor of Portuguese and English as a Second Language at Valencia Community College. “Films are an incredibly effective vehicle for learning a language and gaining insight about a culture,” explains Sansone, who initiated the Portuguese language curriculum at Valencia. “It’s important when choosing the films to portray a balanced image of a society as well.”

Helping to choose this year’s films were recognized filmmakers Elisa Tolomelli and Malu de Martino who also will present each film and participate in Q & A sessions after the screenings.

My Name Isn’t Johnny7 p.m., Thursday, March 25, West Campus Building 3 Auditorium, (Rating: 14 and older) The film narrates the true story of João Guilherme Estrella, the restless middle-class adolescent that rose to become the head of Rio’s cocaine traffic in the late 1980s and early 1990s. João Estrella’s edgy story of excess and foreboding is brilliantly portrayed by Selton Mello under the careful direction of Mauro Lima who likewise elicits the best from his star-studded cast.

Life is What You Make it: An Urban Odyssey7 p.m., Monday, March 29, Osceola Campus, Building 2 Auditorium, (Rating: 16 and older) Directors Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas provide viewers with a blinding contemporary snapshot of urban survival in São Paulo through the lives of four brothers who are being raised by their single mother. The resulting film is tangibly desperate yet resiliently hopeful and always in motion. The vicious cycle of urban poverty, the challenges of single-parent families, the questions of race and identity, the struggle for survival and success are carefully blended into a powerful cinematic cocktail that leaves the viewer dizzy for its speed as we ponder the voyage it has taken us on.

In Therapy7 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, East Campus, Performing Arts Center, (Rating: 14 and older) Psychoanalysis that starts as a curiosity turns into an intense process of self-discovery for both Mercedes and the film’s audience that she keeps with her every minute of this quick witted comedy at midlife crisis. Lilia Cabral starred in the long-running play and now the award winning film version of this voyage of self actualization of an uncommon woman living a common life to its wake up call through therapy.

A Gastronomic Story7 p.m., Thursday, April, West Campus Building 3 Auditorium, (Rating: 16 and older) A robust celebration of food and the female posterior, Estômago is a movie filled to the brim with passion. The film’s good-natured humor turns darkly comic as the story evolves, and João Miguel as Nonato, has just the right amount of crooked grin charm to immerse you in his story completely. A delight to the senses, this nimble comic fable provides a smartly constructed gastronomic allegory for ambition and survival.

All films are in Portuguese with English subtitles and are free to the public. To see promotional trailers for each film, visit

Valencia’s West Campus is located at 1800 South Kirkman Road in Orlando, The Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee, and the East Campus Performing Arts Center is at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

The festival is presented with the support of the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce. For more information contact Professor Richard Sansone at Valencia, 407-582-1383.