Diverse Brazilian cinema hits Montreal

A former child prodigy begins teaching violin to youth in Sao Paulo in The Violin Teacher.

Take a look at the upcoming films that will be screening at the Montreal Brazilian Film Festival this week

The 10th edition of Montreal’s Brazilian film festival kicked off at Cinéma du Parc on Oct. 21. The festival runs until Oct. 27 and promises an eclectic lineup.

The festival’s program director, Katia Adler, said this year’s festival will be especially exciting, as the festival will be hosting the first and only Canadian screenings of many of the films.

“Brazilian cinema is doing well,” Adler said. “Our production doesn’t stop growing, with about 150 feature films a year. The festival presents a variety of Brazilian films—there are auteur films, comedies and documentaries. There’s something for all tastes. The public can choose what they prefer to watch.”

While Montreal is home to several annual film festivals, this is the only one that solely showcases Brazilian films. The event is also unique because it has no sponsors and is organized and run by a team of volunteers.

The festival’s opening film, Aquarius, premiered at Cannes and is sure to be one of the festival’s highlights. Directed by Kleber Medonça Filho, this drama tells the story of a retired music writer who refuses to accept a buyout for her old apartment. The film has already received critical acclaim, but it has also incited controversy. Reviews in both The Guardian and Variety commend Sonia Bragaès performance in the film, with Variety writer Jay Weissberg calling her “incomparable.” The film itself has political overtones.

Other highlights this year include The Violin Teacher, which will be released in theaters in Montreal on Oct. 28—Nise-The Heart of Madness, starring Gloria Pires—and Neon Bull, which received an honorable mention at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

The Violin Teacher, directed by Sergio Machado, won the audience choice award at the Sao Paulo Film Festival in 2015. Based on a true story, this musical drama follows Laerte, a violinist who fails his audition with the OSESP Orchestra and has to teach music classes at a public school instead. Variety film critic Guy Lodge praised Lazaro Ramos for his performance, and Alexandre Guerra and Felipe de Souza for their “elegantly ornamented score.”

Neon Bull is a provocative drama. It follows Iremar, a bull handler who hopes to someday become a tailor for women’s clothing. He satisfies his creative needs by creating horse masks and sexy outfits for his bull handling group’s truck driver, Galega. Galega also performs sexually provocative dances for men at rodeos. The movie focuses on the issues that surround this rodeo group, along with their romantic and sexual connections.

Other films at the festival include Jonah , Don’t Call Me Son and A Boyfriend for My Wife. There will also be two documentaries screened: Arpoador and Betinho-Hope on the Line. Depending on the movie and its showtime, subtitles are available in English or French. For tickets and more information, visit their website.

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