Valencia Hosts Annual Brazilian Film Festival

Valencia College will kick off its Brazilian Film Festival on Feb. 9 with the showing of the comedy “De Pernas pro Ar” on Feb. 9. The festival will show five films over the next eight days, concluding on Feb. 17 with the U.S. premiere of “Matraga,” which won five awards at the 2011 International Rio Film Festival.

Admission to the film series is free. All films will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles. Each showing is held at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m.

The film series will feature showings on three Valencia campuses: East Campus, West Campus and the college’s Osceola Campus.

Launched in 2008 by Valencia Professor Richard Sansone, who teaches Portuguese and English as a Second Language, the film festival is presented in partnership with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.

The films in the series were selected by Sansone and renowned Brazilian filmmakers Elisa Tolomelli and Malu de Martino who will also moderate each showing and answer questions afterward.

“Head Over Heels” (De Pernas pro Ar): 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, West Campus, Building 3, room 111

In this 2010 comedy, a wealthy, workaholic businesswoman is forced to undergo a major life change after her husband leaves her and she’s fired from her job. She stumbles into her next position — as partner in a decadent sex shop. Director Roberto Santucci’s film won the audience award for Best Film from the 2011 Miami Brazilian Film Festival.

Producer Mariza Leão’s saucy comedy broke box office records in Brazil, thanks to the growing prosperity of Brazil’s lower classes and their newfound access to the cinema.  Replete with adult language and sexual innuendo and situations, this film comes rated as appropriate for Brazilian audiences of 14 years of age and older – but American audiences would likely consider this an R-rated movie.

“Waste Land” (Lixo Extraordinário): 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, Osceola Campus Auditorium

An uplifting social documentary based around the lives of garbage pickers in Rio de Janeiro, the film stars New York-based artist Vik Muniz, who travels back to his native Brazil to help the garbage pickers – by creating art out of the materials they find. Not only does he change their lives, providing them with money to buy a truck, but he is changed by the experience too. In 2011, the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. This film is rated as appropriate for audiences of 14 years of age and older.

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (É Proibido Fumar): 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14, West Campus, Building 3, room 111

In São Paulo, a lonely forty-something guitar teacher lives a tedious life in a lower middle-class apartment, accompanied by her only companions, cigarettes. But when a musician named Max moves in next door, she finds love – and trouble. This film, directed by Anna Muylaert, won four awards at Cinema Brazil Grand Prize, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. This film is rated as appropriate for audiences of 16 years of age and older.

 “If Nothing Else Works Out” (Se Nada Mais Der Certo): 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16, East Campus, Building 6, room 110

This film from director José Eduardo Belmonte invites the viewer to ponder universal themes such as alienation, addiction, identity, loneliness, and unemployment as it follows four down-and-out residents of São Paulo: Leo, a journalist who has lost his job; Angela, a depressed mom who has spent the electricity money on “medication”; Marcin, a coke dealer who rationalizes “spreading little bits of happiness”; and Wilson, a cabbie in need of a psychiatrist. The film has won a string of awards from the International Rio Film Festival, the Miami Brazilian Film Festival and Brazil’s National Cinema Festival.  This film is rated as appropriate for audiences of 16 years of age and older

 “Matraga”: 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, West Campus, Building 3, room 111

In this yet-to-be-released screen adaptation of the novel by Brazilian author Guimarães Rosa, the audience follows heartless landowner Augusto Matraga who is toppled from his position of power in the Brazilian outback and, having been beaten and left for dead by his enemies, is taken in by two religious farmers. He becomes a God-fearing citizen until a powerful landowner crosses his path. The film won five awards at the 2011 International Rio Film Festival, including Best Film. Producer Elisa Tolomelli will be present to further elaborate on Valencia’s sneak preview of Matraga. This film has yet not been rated but contains adult language and graphic violence and is not appropriate for children.

To view trailers, get directions, and learn more about the films, please visit:

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando. The Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane, Kissimmee.