The shadow of Brazil's Oscar-nominated City of God was strongly felt at the closing ceremony of the RioInternational Film Festival last night (Oct 7) - with two films abouturban violence picking up the lion's share of the Jury prizes.
In the Premiere Brasil category, for domestic productions,the best film award went to Contra Todos- produced by City of God's director Fernando Meirelles. The film, a drama set in the periphery ofSao Paulo, was directed byfirst-timer Roberto Moreira - a university lecturer - and also picked upbest actress for SilviaLourenço.
Meanwhile, Lucia Murat won best director for Quase DoisIrmaos, a film whose subject is the same asCity of God's: the rise oforganised crime in Rio in the late 1970s. The screenplay was written by Muratand Paulo Lins, who wrote the book on which City of God is based. Flavio Bauraqui (best known for hisappearance in Madame Sata) wonbest actor for his role in Quase Dois Irmaos as a common criminal whose friendship with apolitical prisoner results in the emergence of Rio's heirarchical druggangs.
Best documentary went to Estamira by the photographer-turned-director Marcos Prado, abeautiful if overlong portrait of a woman who lives on a rubbish dump outsideRio.
Unlike last year when The Storytellers (Os Narradores deJave) picked up both the jury andaudience prizes, this year filmgoers disagreed with all the jury'sdecisions.
The public vote for best film went to Vida de Menina, an adaptation of the book The Diary ofHelena Morley, about a young girl growingup in central Brazil at the end of the 19th century.
Best documentary, as voted on by cinema audiences, wasawarded to Fábio Fabuloso -a quirky film about Brazil's best ever surfer, Fábio Gouveia,which includes shots of him at competitions around the world and is narrated inthe "cordel" rhyming verse typical to his home state Paraiba.