Films & Videos

Grandma Has a Video Camera

Vovo2

“Life in the U.S. is good, but it’s bad. Life in Brazil is bad, but it’s good.”

Who are the many immigrants of today? What are they seeking when building their new lives? How do they see the new land and its people and where do they go to understand both? Do they belong here or there? And do they have to make that decision?

Grandma Has a Video Camera is a 1-hour documentary about the use of home video by a family of Brazilian immigrants, which portrays their lives in the United States for over twenty years. From enchantment to disillusionment, from idealization to conformity, first-hand images and voices depict how newly arriving immigrants see their new world, and struggle to establish their final home.

A first trip to see snow, a tour to the supersized supermarket or a video letter showing the latest motorcycle offers an intimate portrayal of the uncensored, the honest, and the amazed. What has emerged from 20 years of videotaping is an incredible portrayal of people overcoming barriers: their desires, their loneliness, and their fears, to make a dream come true.
Festival Premiere
Latinbeat 2007
Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, New York NY
Broadcast Premiere
Truly California series
Channel 9, KQED, Northern California

“…an insightful chronicle of a family’s cross-cultural disillusionment, told through the moving images that a Brazilian filmmaker and her avó photographed during their many years in America.” Village Voice
“… This is not exactly the kind of immigrant story Americans are used to seeing, and it broadens our horizons considerably.” Greencine

Saúde e Fé

2012-10-17 17.47.48

Video 105 mins, Brazil 2003. Available in Portuguese only

Saúde e Fé (Health and Faith) is a feature documentary about a remarkable program in Brazil in which doctors and traditional Afro-Brazilian religious healers work together.

In remote or urban areas of Brazil, traditional temples are part of everyday life of neighborhoods, and its populations. Afro-Brazilian religions such as Vodun, Tambor de Mina, and  Camdomblé provide spiritual and physical strength to followers and those who seek help. The very poor use the religious rituals of cleansing, baths, and spiritual possession – alongside the national medical system.

But, if the patients were open-minded to all cures, doctors and traditional practitioners were not. Traditionally, these two groups viewed one another with suspicion and contempt. Hospitals and terreiros (temples) were completely separate worlds.

Then, in March of 2002, an innovative program called Ato Ire was born. Ato Ire encourages doctors and traditional Afro-Brazilian religious healers to work together to treat health problems of a desperately poor but very religious people.

We learn of the work of some of the most important players in the fight for healthcare rights among peoples of African, indigenous, and cabloclo (African and indigenous) descent in Brazil.  High priests and priestesses as well as doctors and health educators work together to connect traditional healing treatments to modern medicine, and vice-versa.

Saúde e Fé was funded by the Ford Foundation in Brazil and used for screenings throughout Brazil by the Ató Irê Project and Centro de Cultura Negra do Maranhão.

Odô Yá Life With AIDS

odoya

Video 58 mins, Brazil/USA 1997. Available in English, Portuguese and French

This is the affirming story of how Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion, has become a source of strength and power for a group of AIDS sufferers. Shot in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Bahia, it shows the rituals of Candomblé and the celebration of Carnival. It features the personal struggles and words of wisdom from those whose faith have brought endurance and pride. Rather than denying the sexuality of the population, Odô-Yá!, an innovative education program, advocates the use of condoms so that sexuality need not be repressed.

This lyrical documentary puts the epidemic in a cultural context, showing how a religion helps its followers cope with the illness, contrasting it with myopic government campaigns.

WINNER Best Documentary, New York AIDS Film Festival

WINNER Public Award for Best Film Made by a Woman of Color, New York African Diaspora Film Festival

WINNER Orilaxé Prize for Social Change : Best Documentary, Grupo Cultural Afro Reagge- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

WINNER Best Documentary, Pan-African Film  Festival, California

WINNER Best Documentary, South Bronx Film  Festival, New York

WINNER Bronze Apple Award, National Educational Media Network, California

WINNER Special Jury Prize, Festival Panafricain Du Cinema de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Ex-voto

ex-voto

Video 7 mins, Brazil/USA 1990. Available in English and Portuguese

Ex-voto is the task or object that results from the promise made by the devotee.  The devotee requests the divine intervention, and promises to carry out a duty if the grace is granted.  In Latin America, ex-votos have always been expressed in works or mediums of art, such as paintings, sculptures or photographs, which consequently are delivered to shrines.

Ex-voto, the video, is an offering to Our Lady Aparecida – the National Patron Saint of Brazil, in gratitude for saving the artist from an accident with fire when she was 10 years old. It explores the medium as an object of offering by using the same expression of a dialogue with the divine. As a devotee, the artist had to execute all the production levels of the video as a craft.

Selected screenings: American Film Institute National Video Festival, Artists Space (NY), European Media Arts Festival (Germany), VIII Festival de Cine Latino Americano (Trieste/Venice/Rome), Festival de Cinema de Gramado (Brazil), Festival Internacional de Video Del Cono Sur (program touring to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguai, Paraguai, and Chile), Impact Festival of Experimental Art in Utrecht (Netherlands), The Kitchen (NY), PS 122 (NY), Magdeburg Int’l. Film/Video Festival (Germany), The Majestic Theater/BAM (NY), Aaron Davis Hall (NY), Movimiento Nacional Video: VII Encuentro Nacional de Video (Cuba),

Museum of Image and Sound in Brazil, Museum of Modern Art in New York, International House (PA), Public Theater (NY), Queens Museum of Art, Robert Flaherty Seminar, San Francisco Cinemateque, Women in the Director’s Chair, WOW Women on World Film and Video Festival

Broadcast: NO TV

Tattoo and Symphony

Tattoo

Video 12 mins, USA 1990

Tattoo and Symphony features tattoo aficionados at a Tattoo Convention in Philadelphia. To the symphonic overload of Beethoven’s Symphony, the convention’s denizens proudly show their skins. Tattoo and Symphony was made to travel internationally with tattoo conventions, and features famous tattoo artists and lovers like Bernie, Jonathan Shaw, Klaus Raeth and Roy Boy.

Viva Eu!

vivaeu2 copy

16mm Color 18 mins, Brazil/Spain/USA 1989. Available in Portuguese and English

Viva Eu! is a documentary that celebrates the life of Brazilian artist Wilton Braga, one of the first persons in Brazil to be diagnosed with AIDS. We witness the flesh and soul of a man with remarkable strength and resolve in the face of a life-threatening illness; to find life and faith in the face of adversity.

Shot in three different countries, the film travels from Wilton’s “Wonder Room” in Barcelona to his previous addresses in New York City and São Paulo. Inspired by Braga’s final sculptures and surroundings, every scene in the film uses materials and images from his art. The soundtrack includes original music by Brazilian singer and performer Eduardo Dusek.

WINNER Best Documentary

Joseph Papp’s Festival Latino in New York

WINNER Best 16mm Film

XVII Festival do Cinema Brasileiro de Gramado

WINNER Best Editing

XVII Festival do Cinema Brasileiro de Gramado

Honorable Mention

The National Latino Film and Video Festival of Cine Mestizaje

Alpha Cine Service Award

San Francisco Art Institute Int’l. Film and Video Festival

Selected screenings:  Berlin International Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Dia Center for the Arts, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, World Conference on AIDS (Berlin), Grazer Kunstverein (Austria), International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 11th Festival of New Latin America Film in Havana, New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival

Collections: The Gallery Association of the New York State and The Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo

No Mirror

NoMirror
16mm, Color and B&W, 8 min. USA 1991

No Mirror is a film-performance of a contest between 20 women, who are putting on make-up without using a mirror.  The special guests in the film are artists Curtis Mitchell and Hunter Reynolds. Reynolds appears in his drag character: Patina Du Prey.  In Reynold’s performance, Patina du Prey stays so absorbed in the ritual of putting on the make-up, that the “expected” really happens!  “NO MIRROR” is shot all at one location.  The soundtrack is a montage of male crowds cheering in different places (ball games, wresting, horse tracks, amusement park games, etc.)

INVITATIONAL SCREENINGS INCLUDE:

The WOW Women’s Film and Video Festival- NY

Latino Collaborative, Membership Screenings- NY

Andrea Rosen Gallery- NY

La Misma Onda at PS 122- NY

Magdeburg Film and Video Festival- Germany

Amy Lipton Gallery- NY

Hong Kong Arts Center

Alliance for Media Arts: Queer Flickering Light- Florida

Facets- Chicago

Berlin Lesbian and Gay Film/Video Festival

Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paulo- Brazil,

VIII Festival De Cine Latino Americano, Trieste/Venice/Rome-NY

Neighborhood Film/Video Project- Int’l. House, Pennsylvania

Munich International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 92

NY Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival,NY 92

Hallwalls, Buffalo- NY

Rhode Island University

“Neighborhood Film/Video Project”, International House in Philadelphia- PA

 

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