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Cinema Village

ARABY Directors João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa

Directors' Profile

João Dumans is a screenwriter and director based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He codirected Araby (2017), which screened in more than 50 film festivals around the world with several awards, and the medium-length documentary Everybody Has Its Own Way (2014). He wrote the feature film Where I Grow Old (2016), which premiered internationally at the Rotterdam International Film Festival; co-wrote and co-edited the Uchoa’s The Hidden Tiger; and worked as assistant director of The Residents (2011), which premiered at the 61st Berlinale Forum. He has curated and organized several film exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, among them “Constructing Views: Experimental Film and Video in Brazil” for the New Museum in New York. He has published articles in film catalogs and magazines such as Cinética and La Furia Umana, where he has also worked as an assistant editor, publishing articles on important Brazilian filmmakers such as Julio Bressane, Andrea Tonacci, and Aloysio Raulino. Filmography - 2017 ARABY  -  2014 EVERYBODY HAS ITS OWN WAY

Affonso Uchoa is a filmmaker based in Contagem, Brazil. He wrote and directed the feature The Hidden Tiger (2014), winner of the Best Picture Award at Mostra de Tiradentes and awarded in many other film festivals, such as Olhar de Cinema and Fronteira, and screened at the Hamburg Filmfest (Germany), Lussasdoc (France) and EDOC (Ecuador), and shown at important film institutions such as the the Cinematheque Française (France), Barbican Centre (England) and Anthology Film Archives (USA). He also is the co-director of Araby (2017), winner of the Best Picture Prize at the 2017s Cinema Tropical Awards and awarded in film festivals such as Indielisboa (Portugal), Golden Apricot (Armenia), and Brasília (Brazil). The film was screened in more than 50 film festivals around the globe and will released theatrically in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil in 2018. As a curator, Affonso worked as a programmer at Cine Humberto Mauro, and from 2009 to 2016 was the curator responsible for the “Curta Circuito,” a program dedicated mainly to the exhibition and discussion of rare Brazilian films from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Filmography - 2017 ARABY  -  2016 THE HIDDEN TIGER


Directors’ Statement

In Araby, we try to portray labor and poverty differently than what has been done so far in contemporary Brazilian cinema. Born of a literary story and crossed by a theatrical impulse, our film tries to show the ordinary life of a worker in a fable-like and inventive way, undaunted by the harshness and violence of the Brazilian reality.

The film Araby continues, in different ways, the experience we had in our previous film, The Hidden Tiger, which shows, with a strong documentary edge, the struggles of five young men living in a Brazilian suburb. One of the actors/characters from this previous film, Aristides de Sousa, is the main character of Araby. Together with him, we built the fictional story of Cristiano, a worker-traveler wandering between nostalgia and murders as an old western character without any mission but to stay alive.

Through Cristiano’s story, we wanted to say something about the lives that are despised in the construction of the great historical and political narratives. We wanted to make a film that could present a summary of many anonymous Brazilian lives that hang between marginality and labor. In our view, these anonymous figures — such as Cristiano — are the real heroes of the novels, the epics, and possible tragedies of our time