An interview with Louis Gustavo De Seixas Buttes, Cultural Secretary of Brazil Embassy in Iran
Independent Cinema Is A Cinema for Intelligent People
Art and Experience-Gelareh Mohammadi-Arezu Ghorbanpour-Somayeh Ghazizadeh: It is about a year and half that Louis Gustavo De Seixas Buttes is the cultural secretary of Brazil Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has travelled to fifteen other countries since he came to Iran. We had an interview with him about independent cinema of Brazil and programs of this embassy for promoting cultural events especially cinematic ones.
It is said that Brazilian filmmakers must be grateful of their government for their enormous helps like tax-free regulations, which is a big support for Brazilian cineastes that help them to make their films as easy as possible. Can you explain more about this issue?
We have some regulations in Brazil that we can say that it is about 10-15 years that they are obeyed so these regulations are brand new in history of Brazilian cinema. They give some opportunities and financial supports to those filmmakers and producers who want to make film based on national subjects. We have laws in different levels in our ministries; very special laws by federal government in order to reduce or delete tax for producers and filmmakers. Also a part of budget of federal government is allocated to culture ministry of Brazil. Culture ministry of Brazil allocate special budget to filmmakers and producers very especially and not only support governmental cinema but also independent films. However, lower budget is allocated to independent cinema but there is a budget for them too.
What is your definition of independent cinema?
We can say that low-budget cinema. Films can be set in this category which were not made by big or financial producers and the budget for making them are low. They have different specialties with distinguished way of making and sometimes director, actor and producer of a film is one person which makes the film in a cheaper way with lower budget.
Annually 80 films are produced in Brazil. How many of them are independent?
I think the number of films you mentioned s just related to financial films. Independent cinema is something that you cannot predict it. I have some director and producer friends who make several short and full-length films in independent cinema every year. We do not have exact statics of these productions because the nature of independent cinema is its self-motivated and it is over-controlled.
How do you present products of independent cinema? I mean that in festivals, Brazilian cinemas for screening in different cities?
We have a national union for screening films of the festival in different cities. As you know, Brazil is a big country like Iran and several film festivals are held in it from northern cities to southern ones. One of the most famous festivals for independent films is held in a small town named Chira din kes that I think this is the most important festival for independent cinema. One who makes film, produces it and exactly that person distributes his/her film in the country by his/her communications. But the important point is that Sao Paulo is the core of Brazil’s economy and the more money is there. The richest regions of Brazil are Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro Most of films are made in these two cities, distributed and they are screened in them too. So we can say that while Brazil is a big country but you can find most of producers and filmmakers of independent cinema in just Rio and Sao Paulo. If you live in north the best way is to come to south and try to communicate with others at there. At there and some other southern areas, you will have more opportunities for your film.
What about international film festivals? What is the position of Brazil’s film festivals internationally?
People who are active in Brazil’s independent cinema present in international film festivals abundantly. Recently 17 independent films of Brazil cinema participated in Berlinale. I can say that they participate in most of European film festivals. Europe is a place that most of Brazilian producers and directors want to screen their films at there. With participating in European film festivals they can present a better image of themselves and absorb looks to sell of their films also get better reaction and feedback from audience and film critics. I guess going to Europe is the most important goal for Brazilian cineastes.