Toniko Melo’s VIP’s was the big winner at the 12th Festival do Rio, taking five of the main awards at the Brazilian event.
Written by Oscar-nominated City of God screenwriter Braulio Mantovani, the film won best film, best actor (Wagner Moura), best supporting actor (Jorge D’Elia), best supporting actress (Gisele Fróes) and best editing (Vania Debs).
The Redentor awards were handed out on Tuesday  evening at a ceremony at the Odeon Petrobras, where more than 80 local films (including shorts) were screened in the Premiere Brasil section dedicated to Brazilian contemporary cinema.
VIP’s is the first feature by Melo, one of the new Brazilian talents backed by Fernando Meirelles and his company O2 Filmes. The story of the infamous con artist Marcelo Nascimento da Rocha will be released in Brazil in March 2011 by Universal Pictures (UPI is a co-producer).
Wagner Moura, who plays the protagonist, is best known to international audiences as Captain Nascimento from Elite Squad, Jose Padilha’s 2008 Berlin Golden Bear-winning film.
This year Festival do Rio screened more than 350 films from 60 countries at over 30 venues. Attendance for the 15 day event will probably total 250,000 admissions, the same number as last year.
Premiere Brasil awards:
Best Film: VIP’s, by Toniko Melo.
Best Documentary: Diario De Uma Busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…) by Flavia Castro.
Best Short: Vento (The Wind), by Marcio Salem.
Best Director: Charly Braun, for Alem Da Estrada (Beyond the Road).
Best Actor: Wagner Moura, for VIP’s.
Best Actress: Karine Teles, for Riscado (Craft).
Best Supporting Actor: Jorge D’Elia, for VIP’s.
Best Supporting Actress: Gisele Fróes, for VIP’s.
Best Screenplay: Elvis & Madona, by Marcelo Laffitte.
Best Cinematography: Adrian Tejido, for Boca do Lixo (Boca).
Best Editing: Vania Debs, for VIP’s.
Special Jury Prize: short film Geral, by Anna Azevedo.
FIPRESCI Award: Diario De Uma Busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…), by Flavia Castro.
Best Film: O Senhor Do Labirinto (Lord of the Labyrinth), by Geraldo Motta & Gisella de Mello.
Best Documentary: Positivas (Positive), by Susanna Lira.
Best Short: Um Outro Ensaio (Another Essay), by Natara Ney.