Rio de Janeiro hosts 4th BRICS film festival

Global Business

BRICS film festival has wrapped in Brazil this week. Filmmakers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa showcased their work at the event that was launched in 2016 to promote cultural exchange.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports.

As host of this year’s BRICS summit next month, Brazil was also the site of the 4th edition of the BRICS film festival. The event wrapped up this week, after showcasing films from the bloc’s member countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The festival started in 2016 as a parallel event to promote cultural exchange.

Russian drama “Tutor” won the official jury award for Best Picture and Chinese romantic comedy “How Long Will I Love U”, the audience award.

More than a competition, the 4th BRICS film festival, in Rio de Janeiro, was once again the main cultural event ahead of the summit, gathering filmmakers from the five-member countries and foreign experts.

“The BRICS film festival is a fantastic opportunity to get people around the table with culture in mind as opposed to politics foremost which the summit provides,” said Chris Homewood, Professor of World Cinema at the University of Leeds.

An opportunity, for example, to exhibit “White Snake”, an animated film based on an ancient Chinese fairytale about a snake spirit that falls in love with a human.

“We are very lucky that my first movie was given a chance to be shown to the world so I am really pleased this festival invited me to be here,” said director Ji Zhao.

The 17-day event included free courses, workshops and a film residency program with students of the five nations, among other activities.

The festival’s theme this year was Past, Present and Future. The goal: To show how countries with different languages and cultures can have a better understanding of each other and promote co-productions for a global audience.

Documentaries such as the joint Brazilian-Chinese documentary, “Songs from Kanzu” are a starting point and presented the sorts of challenges and rewards expected when cultures collaborate.

It was a unique experience said Brazilian filmmaker Pedro Brito. “We had very different tastes talking about cinema, but we had to find a point of connection,” Brito said.

This was Brazil’s first experience hosting the BRICS film festival. Previous editions took place in India, China, and South Africa. The next one will be in Russia. Still in its infancy, industry leaders said the festival has all the expertise, culture and common ideals needed to grow.