By Collin Dever
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For the second year in a row Valencia Community College plays host to a four night Brazilian film festival highlighting the rich diversity of Brazilian cinema. On hand will be distinguished filmmakers Elisa Tolomelli and Malu de Martino.

Ms. Tolomelli was an executive producer on the film City of God which was nominated for four Oscars including best writing, and best cinematography. Ms. Martino and Ms. Tolomelli worked together on the film Mulheres do Brasil (Women of Brazil) as director and producer respectively. Which covers the story of five women living in Brazilaccording to imdb. Professor of Portuguese Richard Sansone organized the film festival as a way to provide people with a view of what modern day Brazil really looks like, and for his students the film festival is a living laboratory to practice their language and tie it into the Brazilian culture.

The opening night of the festival, which happened this past Thursday, Feb. 19, was a screening of Ó Paí, Ó (Look at This!) on the West campus in Building 5-111.

“Look at This!” follows the stories of the tenement dwellers of the city of Salvador as they celebrate Carnival. With a diverse range of characters the film leaves the audience “curious to dive in but fearful of drowning,” according to Mr. Sansone.

The second night of the festival took place on Monday, Feb. 23 at East campus’ at the Performing Arts Center. Guests were invited to see the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival best film award winner Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad). Suggested by the students that attended last year’s Brazilian Film Festival, Elite Squad illustrates the power struggle in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas (slums) between the special operations police and the drug lords. The movie is based on the accounts of Rodrigo Pimentel who was an elite squad captain for nineteen years.

Moving over to the Osceola Campus the third film will be Lisbella E O Prisioneiro (Lisbella). A classic love story with a Brazilian twist all focused around a movie theatre. Lisbella is a movie for all age groups. The film was shown Feb. 24 in Building two in the auditorium.

Finally the Brazilian film festival will conclude with Polaróides Urbanas (Urban Snapshots). Following the lives of woman living in urban Brazil the film shows the joy and sorrow as the characters lives pitch between comedy and tragedy. Returning to the West campus Urban Snapshots will be screened Feb. 25 in building five room 111.

In addition to a rich cultural experience, the film festival also helps to partner the college with the community at large, a strategic goal of Valencia community college. The festival has partnered with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce a lively and eclectic group of business owners who are as diverse as Brazil itself.

All Films are open to the public and anyone can attend. For each film there will be a reception starting at 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm. All films will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles.