A Front Row Look at the Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival 2021

Brazilian Hollywood Film Festival BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of filmfreeway.com

It seems that the Hollywood film industry is finally paying attention and showing interest in international cinema. 

Recently, we saw how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded the first “Academy Award for Best Picture” to the Bon Joon-Ho-directed film, “Parasite.” We saw how several Latino filmmakers had received the “Best Director” honor for nearly five consecutive years, including Alfonso Cuarón (Roma in 2018, Gravity in 2013), Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water in 2017), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant in 2015, Birdman in 2014).

And the fact is that international talent is, without a doubt, one of the most overlooked in the United States, simply because of language barriers.

Despite this, international film festivals continue to pave the way and give talent from other regions a platform.

One of them is the Brazilian Hollywood Film Festival, which celebrated its 13th annual festival from November 19-21 in Beverly Hills, California.

The Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival (HBRFEST) has been one of the fastest-growing festivals over the years. The organization has been dedicated to promoting independent Brazilian filmmakers, distinguishing itself by embracing the Brazilian flavor through indie film screenings, the promotion of big-name stars, and its dedication, the festival explains on its website.

On the festival’s opening night this year, they showcased the North American premiere of “Deserto Particular” by film director Aly Muritiba. The film was selected as the official submission to represent Brazil for Best International Feature at The Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars.” 

“It’s a big honor, and at the same time, a great responsibility. For me, it’s amazing to represent my country with a love story movie,” Muritiba told BELatina News on the red carpet. “We have a strong Latin America industry [in the film industry]. We have a lot of amazing directors and screenwriters, and to be part of this crew is like a dream.”

The Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival creator, Talize Sayegh, also made an appearance sending the best of luck to our Latinx readers interested in the film industry. 

“My advice is to start with your shorts. This director, he happens to be a boy, but I bring a lot of transgender directors, I bring women directors. He started eight years ago with a short that I brought, and now he is here with his feature representing Brazil at the Academy Awards! So what I say is: start. Whatever it is. You got a phone? Do a story. Do not let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. You got an idea? Shoot it with your phone. Just do it!” Sayegh told our readers.

“Deserto Particular” by Aly Muritiba is an incredible and emotional ride from start to finish. Just when you think you understand the simple plot of a fired policeman searching cross-country for his online lover that abruptly stopped communicating — the love story’s plot thickens and speeds up the last half of the film. We don’t want to give out spoilers, but it’s a love story that challenges Brazilian masculinity with an open heart.