Festival do Rio screened 84 Brazilian productions across its various sections during the 11 day celebration of the cinematographic arts that ran from 1 to 11 November. The wealth and depth of the Brazilian films screened - covered the most varied themes and from the most diverse parts of this huge country - reinforcing the festival’s place as the main global shop window for Brazilian productions.

64 full-length features - including co-productions - and 20 shorts also gave Rio’s cinema going public the chance to meet and talk with the biggest names and talents working in Brazil’s cinema industry – and from both sides of the camera - at gala screenings and discussions that were open to the public. 

The festival’s closing film, on 11 November,was Carlos Diegues’ O Grande Circo Místico (The Great Mystic Circus), which premiered with a special screening at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and which has been chosen to represent Brazil in the Foreign Language Section at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.

Première Brasil, one of the most anticipated and popular sections of Festival do Rio, and the main competitive section of the festival, screened 48 features and 20 shorts by new and established directors. The cinema going public votes for the best film in the categories of fiction, documentary and short, while an official jury awards the festival’s Redentor trophy across a diverse range of categories from the films in official competition.

New Trends (Novos Rumos), a competitive section of the festival that has grown in popularity each year with Rio audiences, screened seven features and seven shorts from new directors, while Portraits (Retratos) screened eleven feature with themes that registered the unique personalities and topics across the history of Brazil.

In recent years, Première Brasil has expanded its scope, opening space to the New Trends and Portraits sections, yet due to the diversity and volume of current Brazilian film production, other Brazilian films were shown across Festival do Rio in sections as varied as Panorama, Midnight, Première Latina, Expectations 2018 and classics.

Restored prints and a salute to Nelson Pereira dos Santos

This year Festival do Rio had the honour to present four restored copies of Brazilian cinema masterpieces - films that have unquestionably changed the perception of Brazilian cinema across the world. They included:

Central Station (Central do Brasil) by Walter Salles, a film that is celebrating 20 years since its release in 1998, with a story deeply rooted in the Brazilian soul. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and its star, Fernanda Montenegro, won the Silver Bear for best actress and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Hector Babenco’s Pixote (Pixote A Lei do Mais Fraco) will give audiences the chance to again watch on the big screen one of the most singular works of the great director, who with this film established a milestone in the cinema of Brazil. One the most critically acclaimed Brazilian films of all times, it featured on numerous international critic polls for “best film” on its release in 1981.

The festival also honoured and saluted Nelson Pereira dos Santos, one of the Brazil’s most respected filmmakers who died in April 2018. Festival do Rio screened new copies of two of his early classics, Rio 40 Degrees (Rio 40 Graus -1955) and Rio Zona Norte (1957).

For the second consecutive year, Festival do Rio presents the Prêmio Petrobras de Cinema (Petrobras Cinema Prize), a financial prize offered by Brazil’s main oil company, Petrobras, for the commercial distribution of the best feature film in Première Brasil (R$200,000) and the best film in New Trends (R$100,000), as chosen by the official juries. 

Festival do Rio is made possible thanks to the Incentive Law (Lei de Incentivo) of the Ministry of Culture, as well as the sponsorship of Petrobras, Caixa Seguradora and other supporters and partners.

The Brazilian films (and co-productions) that screened at Festival do Rio from 1 to 11 November 2018 included:


  • A Sombra do Pai (The Father's Shadow), by Gabriela Amaral Almeida, 92 min – SP
  • A Terra Negra dos Kawa (Kawa), by Sérgio Andrade, 99 min – AM
  • Azougue Nazaré (Azougue Nazaré), by Tiago Melo, 82 min – PE
  • Chuva é Cantoria na Aldeia dos Mortos (The Dead and the Others), by João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora, 113 min – MG
  • Deslembro (Unremember), by Flavia Castro, 93 min – RJ
  • Domingo (Domingo), by Clara Linhart and Fellipe Barbosa, 95 min – RJ
  • Morto Não Fala (The Nightshifter), by Dennison Ramalho, 110 min – RS
  • Nóis por Nóis (Us By Us), by Aly Muritiba and Jandir Santin, 100 min – PR
  • Tinta Bruta (Hard Paint), by Marcio Reolon and Filipe Matzembacher, 117 min – RS


  • Clementina (Clementina), by Ana Rieper, 75 min - RJ 
  • Eleições (Elections), by Ana Riff, 80 min – SP
  • Gilda Brasileiro - Contra O Esquecimento (Gilda Brasileiro - Against Oblivion), by Roberto Manhães Reis and Viola Scheuerer, 90 min – ES
  • Meu Nome é Daniel (My Name is Daniel), by Daniel Gonçalves, 83 min – RJ
  • Relatos do Front (Stories From the Frontline), by Renato Martins, 105 min – RJ
  • Torre das Donzelas (Maiden’s Tower), by Susanna Lira, 92 min – RJ


  • El Último País (The Last Country), by Gretel Marín Palacio, DOC, 70 min – GO
  • Ilha (Island), by Ary Rosa and Glenda Nicácio, FIC, 96 min – BA 
  • Inferninho (My Own Private Hell), by Pedro Diogenes and Guto Parente, FIC, 72 min – CE
  • Luna (Luna), by Cris Azzi, FIC, 89 min – MG
  • Mormaço (Sultry), by Marina Meliande, FIC, 96 min – RJ
  • Para’i (Para’i), by Vinicius Toro, FIC, 82 min – SP
  • Sócrates (Sócrates), by Alex Moratto, FIC, 70 min – SP


  • A Retirada para um Coração Bruto (The Last Song For a Rude Heart), by Marco Antônio Pereira, FIC, 14 min – MG
  • À Tona (Surfacing), by Daniella Cronemberger, DOC, 15 min, DF 
  • Antes que o Tempo me Esqueça (Before Time Forgot Me), by Leo Goodgod and Paulo Rodrigues, FIC, 13 min, MG
  • Boi (Awake Nights), by Lucas Bettim and Renan Carvalho, FIC, 13 min – SP
  • Gopi (Gopi), by Viviane D’Avilla and Paulo Dimantas, DOC, 15 min – RJ
  • Mais Triste que Chuva num Recreio de Colégio (Sadder Than Playtime on a Rainy Day), by Lobo Mauro, DOC, 14 min – RJ
  • Nomes que Importam (Names that Matter), by Muriel Alves and Angela Donini, DOC, 15 min – RJ
  • O Órfão (The Orphan), by Carolina Markowicz, FIC, 15 min – SP
  • Preciso Dizer que te Amo (I Have To Say I Love You), by Ariel Nobre, DOC, 13 min SP
  • Princesa Morta do Jacuí (Dead Princess of Jacuí), by Marcela Ilha Bordin, FIC, 15 min – RS
  • Universo Preto Paralelo (Black Parallel Universe), by Rubens Passaro, DOC, 12 min – SP
  • Você não me Conhece (You Don’t Know Me), by Rodrigo Séllos, DOC, 14 min – RJ


  • Cadelas (Cadelas), by Rita Toledo, FIC, 22 min – RJ
  • Cascudos (Tough Kids), by Igor Barradas, FIC, 18 min - RJ 
  • Invasão Drag (Drag Invasion), by Rafael Ribeiro, DOC, 13 min - RJ 
  • Jéssika (Jéssika), by Galba Gogóia, FIC, 19 min – RJ
  • Lembra (Remember), by Leonardo Martinelli, FIC, 10 min – RJ
  • Sempre Verei Cores no seu Cinza (I’ll Always See Colours in Your Gray), by Anabela Roque, DOC, 18 min – RJ
  • Vigia (Night Watch), by João Victor Borges, FIC, 24 min – RJ


  • Aconteceu na Quarta-Feira (Stage Devil), by Domingos Oliveira, 70 min – RJ
  • Cine Holliudy 2 – A Chibata Sideral (Cine Holliudy 2), by Halder Gomes, 100 min – CE
  • Correndo Atrás (Running After), by Jeferson De, 86 min – RJ
  • Diamantino (Diamantino), by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, 96 min - RJ 
  • Intimidade Entre Estranhos (The Intimacy of Strangers), by José Alvarenja Jr., 111 min – RJ
  • Los Silencios (Los Silencios), by Beatriz Seigner, 89 min – SP
  • Rasga Coração (Rend Your Heart), by Jorge Furtado, 113 min – RS
  • Sequestro Relâmpago (Express Kidnapping), by Tata Amaral, 79 min – SP
  • Simonal (Simonal), by Leandro Domingues, 105 min – RJ 
  • Sueño Florianópolis (Sueño Florianópolis), by Ana Katz, 107 min – SP
  • Uma Noite Não É Nada (Uma Noite Não É Nada), by Alain Fresnot, FIC – SP


  • Amazônia, o Despertar da Florestania (Amazon, the Awakening of Florestania), by Christiane Torloni and Miguel Przewodowski, 111 min – RJ
  • Excelentíssimos (Lower House), by Douglas Duarte, 152 min - RJ 
  • Humberto Mauro (Humberto Mauro), by André Di Mauro, 90 min – RJ
  • THF: Aeroporto Central (Central Airport: THF), by Karim Ainouz, 97 min – SP


  • Mundo é Redondo Para Ninguém se Esconder Nos Cantos – Parte I: Refúgio (The World is Round So That Nobody Can Hide in the Corners – Part I: Refuge), by Leandro Goddinho, DOC, 10 min


  • A Turma do Pererê.DOC (PERERE.DOC), by Ricardo Favilla, 77 min – RJ
  • Angel Viana – Voando Com os Pés no Chão (Angel Viana Grounded in Flight), by Cristina Leal, 88 min – RJ 
  • Carvana (Carvana), by Lulu Corrêa, 104 min – RJ
  • Filme Ensaio (Rehearsal Film), by Maria Flor, 72 min – RJ
  • Marcia Haydée (Marcia Haydée), by Daniela Kallmann, 80 min – RJ
  • Meu Samba É Meu Dom (Samba Is My Gift), by Cristiano Abud, 93 min – MG 
  • Paulo Casé (Paulo Casé), by Paula Fiuza, 70 min - RJ 
  • Rindo à Toa: Humor sem limites (Laughing Out Loud: Humour and Democracy), by Cláudio Manoel, Alvaro Campos and Alê Braga, 102 min – RJ
  • Tá Rindo de Quê? (What Are You Laughing At? Humor and Dictatorship in Brazil), by Cláudio Manoel, Alvaro Campos and Alê Braga, 95 min – RJ 
  • Rogéria, Senhor Astolfo Barroso Pinto (Rogéria Mr. Astolfo Barroso Pinto), by Pedro Gui, 82 min – RJ
  • Zuza Homem de Jazz (Zuza The Man of Jazz), by Janaina Dalri, 72 min – RJ


  • Família Submersa (Família Submergida), by María Alché, FIC, 91 min (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Norway)
  • Happy Hour (Happy Hour), by Eduardo Albergaria, FIC, 104 min (Brazil, Argentina)
  • La Cama (The Bed), by Mónica Lairana, FIC, 90 min (Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, Germany)
  • Rojo (Rojo), by Benjamin Naishtat, FIC, 109 min (Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Netherlands)
  • Tarde Para Morir Joven (Too Late To Die Young), by Dominga Sotomayor, FIC, 110 min (Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, Qatar)


  • Palace II - 3 Quartos com Vista para o Mar (Palace II), by Rafael Machado and Gabriel Corrêa de Castro, DOC, 80 min – RJ
  • Pedro and Inês (The Dead Queen), by António Ferreira, FIC, 120 min (Portugal, Brazil, France)


  • Cano Serrado (2 Gauge Highways), by Erik de Castro, FIC, 87 min – RJ
  • O Olho e a Faca (The Eye and the Knife), by Paulo Sacramento, FIC, 99 min – SP


  • Personas Humanas (Humanpersons), by Frank Spano, FIC, (Panamá, Brazil, Spain)


  • Amazônia Groove (Amazônia Groove), by Bruno Murtinho, DOC, 78 min – RJ
  • The Cleaners (The Cleaners), by Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck, DOC, 95 min (Germany, Brazil)


  • Central do Brasil (Central Station), by Walter Salles, FIC, 105 min (Brazil, France)
  • Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (Pixote), by Hector Babenco, FIC, 128 min – SP
  • Rio 40 Graus, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, FIC, 100 min  - 1955
  • Rio Zona Norte, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, FIC, 90 min 1957


  • Grande Circo Místico (The Great Mystical Circus), by Carlos Diegues, FIC, 106 min (Brazil, Portugal, France)

Prizes to be presented on the closing night to films in Première Brasil include:

Première Brasil - Redentor Trophy

  • Best Fiction Feature
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Short
  • Best Director - Feature Fiction
  • Best Director – Documentary
  • Best Actress
  • Best Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Screenplay 
  • Best Editing
  • Best Cinematography
  • Special Jury Prize

Première Brasil - Audience Awards

  • Best Fiction Feature
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Short

Première Brasil - New Trends (Novos Rumos)

  • Best Film
  • Best Short
  • Special Jury Prize