FAM – Film Festival magic in Florianopolis

A mere ten days ago I was not here, in my own house, doing my everyday things with the usual friends, I was seeing different landscapes and seascapes, I was surrounded by close friends, although I had met most of them only a few days before, time was, in a way, suspended; I was in Brazil.

Film festivals are magical sometimes, and this is the case with FAM in the island of Florianopolis, in the South of Brazil. Island people are usually special, they love to enjoy life, they like to be outdoors and live life to the fullest, and Florianopolians are no exception to the rule.

I had been on this island before, but this was different. Being on vacation when you are a teenager is different. This was not a vacation, and yet it was a delight. Watching films, meeting interesting filmmakers every day, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful beaches by the side of the greenest hills in the world, being alive, forgetting the mondaine and just focusing on living, that´s what Florianopolis was for me.

FAM is a great place to make connections with film people and potential partners in the most relaxed environment possible. It is also a great place to show one´s films, because the festival really makes a point of promoting every single film it shows. I am not a fan of huge festivals where there are 500 films, but there is little communication about each one of them. FAM is the opposite of that. Our film MONSTRUO (Dir. Carlos Morelli, 2012) got a lot of attention. It played to an almost full house, and the crowd´s reaction was amazing. I couldn´t ask for more, and then, there was award night, and more there was. It was bliss to pick up awards for such wonderful people as our actors Roberto Jones and Roberto Suárez and our mastermind cinematographer Diego Varela. Somehow having the film get awards for these wonderful people was more rewarding for me personally that receiving “best short film” awards and the like. I love it when supertalent gets recognized like that. I was honored to bring the awards home for them.

Whatever I do, I will surely try to make FAM once more next year. Organizers like the fantastic Nira and Warlise were a pleasure to watch, as they busybee-d around, making sure everything was flawless and perfect. I got to meet in person for the first time some people I have been in contact with for a long time on the web, and to top it off, I got to see my friend Caroline again, whom I had met in 2007 in Cuba, when we were classmates at the EICTV Film School.

That is not all, while I was in Brazil, I got the best news ever; news I had been waiting for for a year and a half. All I can say is I can´t wait to go back to Brazil; in Brazil, life is good. As I flew back home, I was in awe of the magnificent beauty of that marvelous country and I felt blessed to have met so many of its wonderful people.

Of all of my Brazil experiences, one that stands out is that of watching the film A memoria que me contam, by Lucia Murat. I was so moved after the projection that I couldn´t utter a word when I met the filmmaker. An important film about Latin America´s recent past for anyone who cares.

Below are a few shots from this incredible journey. God bless Brazil and its people. Thank you FAM!

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With my BFF Caroline, director of the local Cinematheque
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Our film MONSTRUO was the first Uruguayan film this Brazil-based Uruguayan man had ever seen
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Introducing the film
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Monstruo got a second screening thanks to the people´s voting.
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In the beautiful Santo Antonio town
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Campeche beach
Florianopolis Market
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View from my hotel room
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Best actor awards
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Best Cinematography Award
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Agustín Urrutia and Roberto Jones onscreen during the projection
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Florianopolis is famous for its oyster festivals
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Amazing new friends

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