One of my newest addictions is finding and watching short documentaries on Brazilian subjects. There are many times when I am amazed at how much can be stuffed into a 10 or 20 minute short film. By perusing as many Brazilian sites and Facebook pages (many of which contain links to media) as possible in my free time, I am able to get a handle on what’s out there for me to watch.
The secret is that I choose possible sources that jive with my interests, then I browse their posts for links or clues to videos they might contain. Or if I see a news report about a certain Brazilian topic, I also look up the topic itself online to see what other videos are connected to it. When that’s not possible, I go straight to Youtube to search for any subject I’m curious about and add the words “curta metragem”, or short film.
One source I really should try to use more is Porta Curtas, a Petrobras-backed initiative that started in 2002 with the hopes of being a one-stop shop for Brazilian shorts. My particular interest is in documentary shorts, as I mentioned, and I get the feeling Porta Curtas has a lot of fictional shorts mixed in with non-fictional ones. Plus, several times, I’ve received a blank page when trying to navigate their site, thus why I try other sources first (I literally just discovered another, seemingly great Brazilian site for short documentaries with the obvious name of Curtas Metragens).
Sometimes, though, it’s just about getting a clue about a title that might exist digitally and then going on a little hunt for it online. Additionally, I find that shorts are more likely to be put online when compared to regular films, partially due to the fact that a lot of them deal with controversy and hope their short films get disseminated. Below, I’ll list several of my most recent finds, though I’m afraid none on the list contain English subtitles.
Entre Rios – The history of the occupation of São Paulo’s rivers
Nas Lajes – About the meaning of the rooftops for residents of the Alemão favela in Rio
Nuvens de Veneno – About the use of agro-toxins in Mato Grosso
Chama Verequete – On a master of Carimbó music from Pará
Recife, De Dentro Pra Fora – About life on the main river of Recife, based on a famous poem
Hiato – On a ‘rolezinho’ (group occupation/manifestation) done back in 2000 at Botafogo mall
100% Bolivano, mano – About Bolivian immigrants in São Paulo
As a bonus, 27 short documentaries on each state (and the capital) of Brazil.
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