Wednesday, 13 April 2016


The gripping Brazilian drama Mundo Cão (Dog’s World) has won the Public’s Prize at the18th annual Brazilian Film Festival in Paris, which took place April 5 - 12.

Two of the films' canine stars. 
Each year, audiences vote for what they consider the best film, and this year they choose the unlikely tale of a dogcatcher versus a sociopathic ex-cop.

Directed by Marcos Jorge, the film is set in São Paulo and tells the story of upright and amiable family man Santana, who works for the city, picking up stray animals.

But all goes desperately awry the day that he catches a huge dog and then has to contend with the wrath of the dog’s owner - a violent ex-cop - who has been informed that his "pet" has been put to sleep.

Viewers evidently felt a connection with some of the less-than-cuddly beasts shown in the flic, whose animal stars were just as compelling as the human ones (actors Lázaro Ramos, Babu Santana and Adriana Esteves). They all pulled viewers into a believable underground canine world.

Mundo Cão was one of 20 films shown at the festival, which since its start in 1998 has now screened more than 450 movies and attracted some 70,000 spectators in the French capital.

According to founder Katia Adler, the organizers this year wanted to increase the meetings between filmmakers and the public, and as a result, about 30 special guests – directors, actors and producers – were present. They introduced their films, took part in debates and helped to highlight co-productions between Brazil and France.

The festival closed with the inspiring Tudo que aprendemos juntos, Sérgio Machado’s story of a failed violinist who gives music lessons to disadvantaged children in the favela and discovers an exceptionally talented boy, whose life he manages to change.

There was, of course, live music as well, as the festival ended on a high note with the outstanding Teresa Cristina performing songs by one of Brazil’s best known samba composers, the late Cartola.

 Singer Teresa Cristina performed at the festival.

(Watch this space for full reviews of some of the films shown during the festival.)