Yesterday was the first day of “Festival Latinidades“. Celebrating it’s eighth year, the festival aims to
“give visibility to Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Day and to create a space for initiating discussions about state and civil society initiatives related to the promotion of racial equality and confronting racism and sexism. What distinguishes this festival is its blending of cultural and didactic elements, in addition to the number of Brazilian states and foreign countries that participate.” (taken from the website)
This year’s theme is Cinema Negra and Sankofa, “going back to which you have forgotten” and many of the films featured focus on heritage and history. The headlining film of the night was “My Name is Now” an abstract documentary about the powerful Samba singer Elza Soares which was directed by Elizabete Martins Campos. Another film that screened tonight (which I saw the sumer before I came to Brazil at the BlackStar Film Festival) was “The Summer of Gods” directed by Eliciana Nascimento.
Panel talks touched on topics ranging from “What is Cinema Negra?” to discussions on how to combat racism and increase the value of black identity. Dr.Yaba Blay led a talk on the question of black beauty as it relates to black women, all of which were screened live here. The night continued with the official opening of the festival and concluded with a wonderful show by the star of the night herself, Elza Soares who rocked the crowd from a chair and greeted every last one of her fans.
The 8th annual Festival Latinidades is off to a good start.