What is the Recife Cinema Festival?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Recife Film Festival is, as the name indicates, a film festival which is held in Recife, Brazil. It may be a bit surprising to think of Brazil as a center of cinematic excellence, but over the past couple of decades it has become just that.

The festival highlights the documentaries, feature films, short films, and videos which have been produced by Brazilians each year. The event was founded in 1997 by Alfredo & Sandra Bertini and between then and 2008, more than 1800 films have been featured at this festival.

While Brazilian films are primarily featured at this event, invitations are also regularly extended to quality international films. Trophies are awarded for each of the diverse categories of film represented in the festival. Perhaps the most prestigious trophy which is presented each year is the Gilberto Freyre award, presented to

the feature film that best express[es] the appreciation of Brazilian identity through the concept of racial diversity, that characterizes the Brazilian ethnic formation and culture.

Some financial prizes are also awarded by independent partners of the festival in a variety of categories. 

In addition to the awards given to the films, many other categories are recognized, as well. Awards for the actors/actresses, cinematography, music, sound, costuming and various other elements which comprise any cinematic endeavor. 

One of the greatest contributing factors to the burgeoning success of Brazilian films is the favorable funding structures which state and local governments have provided to promote film-making as an industry. Other factors include the decreased costs of filming in the digital age as well as the increase in film schools (mostly in Recife) and an increased interest in film viewing, film criticism, and film-making. 

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