VeraEgito’s A Batalha da Rua Antonia won the best fiction feature at the 25th Rio International Film Festival Clos Unlike previous editions, however, the top winner received its world premiere at the festival and had not already enjoyed successful runs in international festivals like Cannes, Venice or Toronto.The film’s title refers to Rua Maria Antonia, a street in the centre of the capital Sao Paulo which was the stage for a famous confrontation between left wing and right wing university students in October 1968 during Brazil’s military dictatorship.On the night it screened
A Batalha da Rua Antonia
won over audiences and critics alike by recreating in 21 sequences the tension and violence experienced by teachers and students on that fateful day. The film captures the passion and violence of the students who clashed with sticks, tables, chairs and homemade bombs. As the festival takes place in October, some prior Premiere Brasil winners had arrived with the endorsement of international festivals.
This was the case with Marcelo Gomes’ Paloma and Anita Rocha da Silveira’s
Medusa, the top winners of 2022 and 2021, respectively.Paloma screened for the first time in Munich and had been selected for festivals such as Raindance (UK) and Huelva (Spain) before its victory in Rio. Medusa won Rio’s best feature fiction prize after premiering in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and playing Toronto.Andre Novais Oliveira’s
O Dia que te Conheci, the Special Jury Prize winner, is another example of a Brazilian film which is starting its career in Rio this year. The film chronicles the everyday life of a librarian working in a nearby city, where he’ll get another chance at love. The simplicity of the story, which works as a romantic comedy with a more naturalistic approach, captivated the audience.
Several films awarded at Premiere Brasil this year had already been selected for international festivals. Power Alley, winner of the best director (Lillah Halla) and best editing awards in Rio, received the Cannes Critics’ Week Fipresci prize in May.The film Toll
by Carolina Markowicz was presented in San Sebastian and Toronto before winning four awards at Premiere Brasil: best actress (Maeve Jinkins), best actor (Kaua Alvarenga), best supporting actress (Aline Marta Maia), and best art direction (Vicente Saldanha).The recipient of the best cinematography prize in Rio, Heartless directed by Nara Normande and Tiao, premiered in Venice’s Orizzonti section.
Usually, Rio is the perfect platform to present local films to Brazilian audiences. The festival platform often helps victorious films achieve a larger domestic release and winners without distribution usually get acquired.However the impact is generally domestic and not international. Paloma
, which was released in cinemas shortly after its success at last year’s Rio, did not see its international sales boosted by the recognition. Its number of admissions in Brazil totaled only 10,000, an unsatisfactory performance, but expected for national films in the post-pandemic era.The full list of winners appears below.Best fiction feature
A Batalha da Rua Antonia (Vera Egito)Special jury prizeO Dia que te Conheci (Andre Novais de Oliveira)
Best director, fictionLillah Halla (Power Alley
Best actressMaeve Jinkins (Toll
) and Grace Passo (
O Dia que te Conheci
Kaua Alvarenga (
)Best supporting actressAline Marta Maia (
)Best supporting actorCarlos Francisco (Estranho Caminho)
Evgenia Alexandrova (Heartless)
Eva Randolph (Power Alley)
Guto Parente (Estranho Caminho)
Best art direction
Vicente Saldanha (Toll)
Othelo, o Grande (Lucas H. Rossi dos Santos)Best Director, documentaryDaniel Goncalves (
)Honorable Mention, documentaryBlack Rio! Black Power!
Best ShortCabana (Adriana de Faria).
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