Brazilian Shorts @ AluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival

alucine_festival_cataloguecover_forweb_640x300_2AluCine  Latin Film & Media Arts Festival is beyond just what its title suggests. Although its origins are in experimental short films, these days it is a lot more. They present short and often experimental films from around the world and also showcase artistic performances and talks about culture.  Best of all,  this year AluCine has invited us to to present a series of Afro-Brazilian documentary shorts that will be featured on March 30 at 2:30 p.m. at Jackman Hall, in the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The description and media photos of the films are below.

A sister organization, AluCine has been active for almost 20 years. Over the years we have been involved in many a party together, whether just our common peoples dancing up a storm at the Gladstone, or Uma Nota and Dos Mundos presenting their closing party in 2011. Last Saturday our own General Eclectic, alongside Bavia Arts' Luciano Porto, spoke about West African influence in Brazilian & Latin music. In line with that theme, Newton Moraes presented an Afro-Brazilian dance class & performance at Bavia Arts Centre on Sunday. Check the programming for the whole festival here. You can like AluCine's Facebook page for current updates.

The program we are presenting was curated by Moira Toledo, the curator for the International Short Film Festival in São Paulo. She and her assistants Bruno Rezende and Tereza Temer are scheduled to be in Toronto for the screening.The curatorial statement by Moira Toledo:"This rich program made by Afro-Brazilian filmmakers is simultaneously a testament to the creative potential of the Afro population of Brazil and to the forces that deny their realization. Inevitably, all the films we have selected highlight racism (both explicit and active) intolerance, and latent issues such as the prejudicial and homogeneous nature of mainstream beauty standards in Brazil."

Defina-Se / 2002 / Brazil
Defina-Se is an audiovisual manifesto on the trajectory of the black population in Brazil from the senzala or “slave quarters” to the outskirts of the country’s major metropolises. 
Eu Tenho a Palavra / 2010 / Brazil
The "language of the Black Coast" is a dialect that was created on plantations in Brazil by enslaved Africans. Incredibly, the language is still spoken today in Minas Gerais, Brazil, having been passed through many generations. 
Eu tenho a palavra 1

 Zumbi Somos Nós / 2007 / Brazil

Proposing new ways of looking, thinking and acting, Zumbi Somos Nós attempts to generate a reflection on racial issues in contemporary Brazilian society, proposing new artistic strategies to address these issues. 
AluCine is killing it in 2013!

Afro Connections: Wunmi in Toronto

Africa has long been regarded as ground zero for the beat and the sole birthplace of rhythm. Without exaggeration, it is the very epicentre from which an endless stream of beat-driven music has flowed since day one. But while the continent itself is as varied musically as anywhere else in the world, we tend to use just one single word to describe the many polyrhythmic influences this part of the globe has given us. That word, of course, is "Afro."Now, this word tends to gets tossed around a lot, but nowhere in the world is it more at home than in Brazil, where rhythmical styles like Samba, Maracatu and Batucada trace their lineage from the African experience.This Saturday's show at Revival in Toronto will feature a great musical encounter from these two areas of the world:For one, we'll showcase the one and only Wunmi from Nigeria. She first appeared back in the late '90s, collaborating with the likes of Bugz In The Attic, Masters At Work and Osunlade and helping to kickstart the whole neo-Afrobeat scene that would soon spread across underground movements in both the U.K. and the U.S. Her stage presence, style of musical attack and singing voice are comparable to greats that have come before her (namely Fela Kuti and Victor Oliaya, among others). What's interesting to note is that while she remains true to this long line of Afrobeat legends, she is a woman in an field traditionally dominated by men. This combination of sensitivity and vulnerability coupled with a hard-edged stage presence creates something entirely new to be experienced and is sure to make this weekends show very special indeed. (More about Wunmi on her very nicely designed website.)The other part of this Saturday's show (a co-production with United Soul) is a showcase of our Uma Nota mainstays Maracatu Mar Aberto. Billed this time out as Mar Aberto Percussion, this performance will feature a pared-down version of our beloved super group playing various drums and instruments alongside myself, DJ General Eclectic. Expect to hear a broad cross section of Brazilian music, specifically Afro-Brazilian styles like Samba, Bossa Nova and MPB alongside newer underground beat productions. This will be our first DJs-and-drumbeats type of event since our three-day festival last November, so we're all super excited to create a dynamic showcase and also reconnect with our music-loving community! See more about the event on our Facebook event page.