BrLab 2016: building trust and fostering diversity
If filmmaking is always a political act, in its 6th edition the BrLab reasserts itself as reference of a diverse and democratic space. We received 323 applications, 191 from Brazil. And it is the recognition of our work – the only Brazilian platform for the development of projects from different nationalities – that keeps us “alive”. And I am always impressed by the dimension and the results of the path traveled thus far, thanks to the grandiosity, seriousness and generosity with which we establish our partnerships, valuable and structural since the conception of this space.
It is also worth noting that the work is not solely concentrated on the creative efforts directed at the selection and guidance of talented artists with powerful and original projects, even though this is the most fruitful part. Large efforts are always concentrated on the constant search for funding and support options that ensure our continuity and the opportunity provided every year to the professionals representing the selected projects, who find in BrLab a unique space for discussion and development of their projects in all their aspects.
In 2016, we see our work as already consolidated and reinventing itself in order to rise again on shaky ground, which points to new, perhaps greater, challenges ahead. Thus, we move forward and find the institutional resilience necessary to continue our work.
While every year we face a battle to produce and expand BrLab, we also find in the films annually made and released a source of renewal that helps to keep our initiative on track. In 2016, three former BrLab projects were screened: two in the Berlinale – O Tempo Não Acabava, directed by Sérgio Andrade and Fábio Baldo, a 2012 BrLab project, and Adrian Saba’s El Soñador, a 2013 BrLab participant then titled Donde Sueñan los Salvajes – and another one (Davi Pretto’s Rifle, a 2014 project then titled Até o Caminho) in the Festival de Brasília do Cinema Brasileiro, receiving the Critics’ Award, in addition to Best Screenplay and Sound by the Official Jury.
While, on the one hand, the recognition of the incentives provided for projects under development requires a certain level of “vision”, on the other hand we expect the screening of participants films to bring materiality to our work, and greater synergy to the partnership with Mostra Internacional de Cinema, an event that institutionally supports us since 2013 and that this year will screen the first two films mentioned above.
This year we also celebrate the opportunity to come together and watch former BRLab films, thanks to the partnership with the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, which will host the Mostra de Filmes BrLab on November 02-14. The event will showcase all the films that have gone through the BRLab and allow the meeting of similar processes, fostering the discussion and sharing of methodologies and experimentations with São Paulo’s audience.
Firstly, however, we are happy to welcome 14 new projects, which, over a week, will receive guidance from our tutors, mentors and panelists, and establish mutual collaboration dynamics. We are pleased to further expand our reach and, in this sixth edition, select the first Portuguese project (with support from the Consulado Geral de Portugal in São Paulo), as well as welcome new partners and supporters, such as the Serviço Social do Comércio de São Paulo – SESC SP, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Embassy of France in Brazil, the law firm Cesnik, Quintino & Salinas Advogados, among many others who have been supporting our initiative since its inception.
BrLab is also proud and privileged to be part of a movement that in recent years has turned São Paulo not only into an audiovisual production center but also a point of convergence for Latin American culture. It is gratifying when two initiatives are able to create synergy and complement their actions. Thus is our partnership with Spcine, which since 2014 has enabled the consolidation of a leadership effort that befits the role that a city of the size and importance of São Paulo naturally assumes in the constitution and promotion of creative platforms and as an important economic center. We remain convinced that the training of professionals in the audiovisual sector is of utmost importance for an industry that champions creative freedom and actions with social reach – precisely at a time when the pendulum of history seems to reach its top propulsion limit, later to swing back in the opposite direction along the path laid out by facts and achievements.
And this conviction seems to have the power to ignite other initiatives, such as this year’s launch of new laboratories for projects selected by ANCINE and contemplated by Prodav 4 – across different areas including animation, live action and documentary series, among others – and allow further expansion of this platform’s scope and range of activities.
We thus hope to continue our work, contributing to the development of the audiovisual industry in São Paulo, in Brazil and abroad, and with the certainty that we hold one of the keys to the transformation and shaping of a better future for us all. We finally wish to thank all those who have entrusted us their projects and the institutions that have supported us in so many different ways. We have come this far and now we continue on our way, regardless of the efforts, working hard to reciprocate all the trust that has been placed upon us.
Director – BrLab