Strong finish for 5th Brazilian Film Festival

The fifth Valencia Brazilian Film Festival ended its five-night run on Feb. 17 with the U.S. premiere of the movie “Matraga.” The event started on Feb. 9, showcasing several Brazilian films throughout the month.

“I do love foreign films,” said Festival attendee Amy Love, “and the atmosphere is great.”

Before the screening of the film, there were a variety of Brazilian refreshments offered in the atrium of Building 3 on the West Campus, catered by Silva’s Market, located at 2500 S. Kirkman Road. Guests of the festival also received a 10 percent discount for the restaurant.

A fundraising drawing for one of the film festival’s t-shirts was held, and funds will be designated to enable students to study in Brazil in the future.

The screening of film “Matraga” was the first ever in the United States. The film was screened at the 2011 Rio International Film Festival where it won Best Fiction Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and the Special Jury Prize.

“[Foreign films] let you see into their lives and their culture,” said audience member Kathy Fedell. “It’s so different from ours but we’re all the same in the end.”

According to the film’s synopsis: “The audience follows the heartless landowner Augusto Matraga who is toppled from his position of power in the raw world of Brazil’s 19th outback and, having been beaten and left for dead by his enemies, is taken in by two religious farmers.” The film is described as “a beautifully rendered cinematic tale of survival, loss, redemption, and faith.”

The film festival was presented courtesy of Professor of Portuguese Richard Sansone and Valencia College in partnership with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.