In 2014 the Festival do Rio introduced the Felix Awards for the first time. Four years later 38 films - including some of festival's most sought after and talked about - were up for consideration in 2017 for the best feature and documentary that deal with LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer) themes. In 2017 the jury was composed of journalist Eduardo Graça, theatre director, filmmaker and anthropologist, Isabel Penoni, and João do Corujão, executive curator of Corujão da Poesia-Universo da Leitura and the programme Libertação dos Livros.

Prior to 2014, Festival do Rio's LGBTQ-themed films had their own section, Gay World. Reflecting cultural change, the curators of the section felt the need to integrate the films in this category across all the many other sections and sidebars of the festival, closing the traditional Gay World and creating instead what are the already prestigious Felix Awards.

The president of the first Felix Jury was Wieland Speck, director of the Panorama Section of Berlin Film Festival and co-creator of Berlin’s Teddy Award. The name of the Felix award was taken from the Latin word ‘felix’, a synonym for ‘fortunate’, ‘joyful’, ‘satisfied’ and ‘happy’.

2017 also marked the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the United Kingdom. At a time when LGBTQ issues are ever more urgent and pertinent in Brazil and the world, the Felix Awards offered festival goers a special sidebar “Felix Presents: British Queer Classics ” – a selection of three landmark films produced in the UK in the 80s and 90s that personify some of the issues that confronted the gay community at the time. The films – all screened with the newly restored copies – included Orlando, directed by Sally Potter (1992); Edward II, directed by Derek Jarman (1991); and My Beautiful Laundrette, directed by Stephen Frears (1985), who also had his latest feature, Victoria and Abdul screening in World Panorama.

Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette, first screened in Rio de Janeiro in competition in 1986 when it won the Golden Toucan for best film at FestRio, the film festival that preceded Festival do Rio and which was also based at the Hotel Nacional. That win helped to bring the film and FestRio to a wider international audience.

The films in consideration for the Felix Awards n 2017, and the sections of the festival where you would have found them, are:

Opening Film

·  The Shape of Water, by Guillermo del Toro


·  Ri Chang Dui Hua (Small Talk), by Hui-chen Huang

·  God's Own Country, by Francis Lee

·  Occidental, by Neïl Beloufa

·  They, by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh

Focus Italy

·  Una Famiglia, by Sebastiano Riso


·  120 battements par minute, by Robin Campillo

·  Berenice procura, by Allan Fiterman

·  Nos années folles (Golden Years), by André Téchiné

·  Discreet, by Travis Matthews

·  The Putin Interviews, by Oliver Stone

·  The Party, by Sally Potter

·  Battle of the Sexes, by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

·  How to Talk to Girls at Parties, by John Cameron Mitchell

·  Lola Pater, by Nadir Moknèche

·  Call Me by Your Name, by Luca Guadagnino

·  Thelma, by Joachim Trier

·  Thirst Street, by Nathan Silver

·  Tom of Finland, by Dome Karukoski

Première Brasil

·  Alguma coisa assim  (Something Like That) by Esmir Filho and Mariana Bastos

·  Até o próximo domingo (Until Next Sunday), byEvaldo Mocarze

·  As boas maneiras(Good Manners), by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra

·  Copa 181, by Dannon Lacerda

·  Entre Irmã (The Seamstress)s, by Breno Silveira

·  O quebra-cabeça de Sara (Sara's Puzzle), by Allan Ribeiro

·  Sandra chamando (Sandra Calling), byJoão Cândido Zacharias

·  Tailor, by Calí dos Anjos

·  Vaca profana (Profane Cow), by René Guerra

·  Vende-se esta moto (Motolove), by Marcus Faustini

Première Latina

·  Casa Roshell, by Camila José Donoso

·  Santa & Andrés, by Carlos Lechuga

·  Vergel, by Kris Niklison


·  The Misandrists by Bruce LaBruce

·  Sal, by Diego Freitas

Midnight Music

·  Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, by Sophie Fiennes

·  Serguei, o último Psicodélico by Ching Lee and Zahy Tata Pur’gte

Unique Itineraries

·  Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer, by David Barba and James Pellerito

·  Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution, by Yony Leyser