The Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival – Curta Cinema began on Wednesday and will run until the end of next week. The festival is an annual celebration of both Brazilian as well as international short films. It aims to be a showcase for short films and their producers to allow them to exhibit and promote their work to a large international audience.

The festival is sponsored by state oil company PETROBRAS and allows for 16mm, 35mm, and digital videos to be exhibited. Films must be under 30 minutes in length and be among the 300 or so short films that get invited to be shown at the festival each year.

Curta Cinema has been tirelessly working to promote short films over the years in an effort to gain them access to a wider audience as well as the notoriety that they deserve. They operate out of a handful of venues that include the Federal Justice Cultural Center, Film Art UFF, Cinemaison, Mam’s Cinematheque and Cinema Odeon NET Claro.

Having done so much already to gain recognition for local Brazilian filmmakers, Curta Cinema helped set up the short film festival with the aim of increasing their exposure even further. To that aim, The Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival has numerous different awards that are given to both International and Brazilian entries. These awards include an Audience Award, Award for Technical and Artistic, Innovation Award in Language, Special Jury Prize, Best Direction, and the Best Picture Award.

The festival also hosts a series of events alongside the film screenings and competitions. These include a Latin-American Panorama and Rio de Janeiro Panorama as well as retrospectives and other such programs. One important program is their Focus segment, which has the specific purpose of promoting the further exhibition, distribution, and production of other short films and experimental works.

There will be opening and closing night’s events that include screenings of 5 different films in several different venues throughout the city. For more information on the opening night’s films, you can click this link. For a complete listing of the closing night’s films click here.

This year’s festival features a Swiss Focus exhibition that will focus on short films from Switzerland. It is made up of 3 parts:

Swiss Focus 1 – Neither Cheese nor Chocolate

Takes place on Thursday 2nd of November. It will showcase retrospective works from Swiss directors that were filmed between 2011 through to 2015.  The subject matter ranges from the tragic to somewhat surreal.

Little Jugoslawia (2013) is a 16-minute short film directed by Nikola Ilić that tells the tale of a rather unconventional group of people who have left their native lands in the former Yugoslavia and moved to Switzerland. The film shows how they strive to maintain their traditions while dealing with their deep nostalgia for their former home. It is a wonderfully sentimental film that gives an honest and endearing account of what happens to people when they are forced to leave their homes.

Swiss Focus 2 – Nomadic View

Taking place on Mon, 6th of November, this is the second part of the Swiss focus exhibition. It features short films that tell the tales of migrants from around the world.

Particularly harrowing is The Right Path. Directed by Auby El Hout, Fouad Alaywan, the film tells the story of Zacharia, who while fighting insurgents in his native Libya, is forced to send his family and young child away.

Swiss Focus 3 – Swiss Narratives

The third part of the Swiss Focus series will be screened on Wed, 8th November. Films include an attempt to use auto-fiction to pay homage to the work of Spanish director José-Luis Guerin in You Can’t Do Everything At Once, But You Can Leave Everything At Once (2016), and an exploration of the repercussions of sexual curiosity by a 13-year old boy in the film Millimeterle (2016).

When it comes to the short film competition the stakes are very high.  The Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival – Curta Cinema puts forward all the best film winners from both its International and National Grand Prix as its nominees for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences film awards. In the past, several of their nominees have gone on to be entered into the Oscar’s best short film category.

This year’s festival is packed with high-quality entries from around the world promising to make it one of the best years ever. Perhaps most interesting is the Brazilian short film competition as it will give audience members a chance to see just how innovative and diverse the up and coming generation of Brazilian filmmakers really is.

Access to adequate funding, as with most countries, is a major problem in Brazil, so it will certainly be interesting what kind of picture the entries paint of the overall health of the short film industry in the country. Brazilians are famous for their passion, so if past years are anything to go by, this year’s festival will certainly not disappoint.

The Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival – Curta Cinema takes place from November 01 until November 08, 2017.

For more details, you can visit their official site by clicking this link. Alternatively, you can visit their Facebook page where you will be able to find all the up to date and latest events information.