Clarissa Campolina and Helvecio Marins’ Swirl (Girimunho) took home top honors for best film at the Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival in an awards ceremony held Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre.
STORY: The Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival Brings Indie Productions to the U.S.
The film is about an 81-year-old woman who lives in a small village in the arid region of Minas Gerais and loves to dance. After her husband dies, she is forced to rethink her life and routine.
Swirl, a production between Brazil, Germany and Spain, pleased the jury and the crowd, who watched the movie Friday when it was screened at the fest. According to the festival's artistic director, Sandro Fiorin, "All of the seats were sold out at the Egyptian Theatre, and there were people seating on the floor just to watch the films."
After the awards were handed out, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Campolina, who said she was thrilled to take the award to Brazil. She praised the organizers of the fest, founded by Brazilian Talize Sayegh, for their initiative to spotlight indie productions in Hollywood during the June 6-10 event.
“The fest was great, and everybody made us feel very comfortable; it was a warm encounter by colleagues from Brazil and new people that we met here," Campolina said. "The Hollywood industry is huge, and it was an honor to be here all of these days showing my project to the executives in the film industry."
Next up for Campolina: She is writing a new project, and she is also collaborating in the script and direction of an animated film that will have aboriginal theme.
This year's winner in the documentary showcase was The Hyperwoman, written and directed by Leonardo Sette, Carlos Fausto and Takuma Kuikuro. The doc is about a musical comedy by the young women of Kikuro, a native tribe in the
The Factory was the winner for best short film. Directed by Aly Muritiba, the short film focuses in a mother who risks everything to smuggle a cellphone for her inmate son.
Fest founder Sayegh took the stage to thank the sponsors, directors, producers, industry executives, volunteers, the audience and everybody involved in the fourth edition of the annual fest. “I am thrilled that the fest was a huge success, that we brought such great indie films, the best of Brazil’s cinema, to Hollywood,” she said.
Sayegh also praised the audience who supported the fest and came out to watch the films during the five nights of exhibition. “Please spread the word and come back next year, because we are coming back even stronger,” Sayegh said.
After the awards cerimony, the audience watched the closing film, The Rat Fever (Febre do Rato), directed by Claudio Assis. Recently, Assis took the prize for best director at the 22nd Ceara Film Festival, which took place in the city of Fortaleza, northeastern Brazil from June 1-8.