In an unprecedented celebration of Brazil's internationally nascent cinema scene, Cinema Tropical presentsJaneiro in New York, a mini-festival featuring the theatrical releases of highly acclaimed films during January and February, 2008.

Film production in Brazil has jumped to over 60 feature films a year, and directors from this South American country are of late receiving a new level of acclaim on the international film festival circuit. Recent productions such as Elite Squad / Tropa de Elite—which is directed by José Padilla and is to be released in the U.S. in the first semester of this year by the Weinstein Company—not only have become box office sensations in Brazil, but also are reaching a broader, international audience.

One of the key figures in the revitalization of Brazilian cinema is the filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (City of GodThe Constant Gardener), who is co-producer of two of the three films comprising Janeiro in New York. Like Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), he is known for supporting his country's most promising projects, particularly those of young filmmakers.

Salles, also a producer of City of God, was one of the producers of noted director Karim Aïnouz's film Love for Sale / O Céu de Suely, one of the Brazilian films to have a theatrical release here in late 2007, along with Tata Amaral's Antonia. 2008 an 2009 promise to continue the wave of exciting Brazilian cinematic offerings, including Salles' Linha de Passe and Bruno Barreto's (Dona Flora and Her Two HusbandsFour Days in September) new film Last Stop 174, a fiction based on the story of the infamous Bus 174 incident.

 

ALICE'S HOUSE / A CASA DE ALICE (Chico Texeira, Brazil, 2007, 93 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles) Chico Teixeira's multi-award winning first feature about contemporary life in Brazil. As portrayed by the luminous Carla Ribas, Alice, a middle-aged manicurist living in Sâo Paulo, has to overcome obstacles by the male dominated world she finds herself trapped in. Filled with profound insights about family, relationships, and trust, it is the most unlikely of Brazilian films. A FiGa Films release.

ALICE'S HOUSE / A CASA DE ALICE
(Chico Texeira, Brazil, 2007, 93 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Chico Teixeira's multi-award winning first feature about contemporary life in Brazil. As portrayed by the luminous Carla Ribas, Alice, a middle-aged manicurist living in Sâo Paulo, has to overcome obstacles by the male dominated world she finds herself trapped in. Filled with profound insights about family, relationships, and trust, it is the most unlikely of Brazilian films.

A FiGa Films release.

THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION / O ANO EM QUE MEUS PAIS SAíRAM DE FÉRIAS (Cao Hamburger, Brazil, 2007, 108 min. In Portuguese and Yiddish with English subtitles) Brazil's Official Selection for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Set in the turbulent year of 1970, this poignant and humorous coming of age story thrusts twelve year-old Mauro into a maelstrom of political and personal upheaval. When his left-wing militant parents are forced to go underground, Mauro is left in the care of his Jewish grandfather's neighbor in Sâo Paulo. Suddenly finding himself an exile in his own country, he is forced to create an ersatz family from the religiously diverse and colorful population of his new neighborhood. A second film for writer-director Cao Hamburger, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation was a selection of the 2007 Berlin Film Festival competition and was the Audience Award winner at the Rio International Film Festival. A City Lights Pictures release.

THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION / O ANO EM QUE MEUS PAIS SAíRAM DE FÉRIAS
(Cao Hamburger, Brazil, 2007, 108 min. In Portuguese and Yiddish with English subtitles)

Brazil's Official Selection for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Set in the turbulent year of 1970, this poignant and humorous coming of age story thrusts twelve year-old Mauro into a maelstrom of political and personal upheaval. When his left-wing militant parents are forced to go underground, Mauro is left in the care of his Jewish grandfather's neighbor in Sâo Paulo. Suddenly finding himself an exile in his own country, he is forced to create an ersatz family from the religiously diverse and colorful population of his new neighborhood. A second film for writer-director Cao Hamburger, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation was a selection of the 2007 Berlin Film Festival competition and was the Audience Award winner at the Rio International Film Festival.

A City Lights Pictures release.

CITY OF MEN / CIDADE DOS HOMENS (Paulo Morelli, Brazil, 2007, 110 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles) In City of Men, producer Fernando Meirelles returns to the Brazilian favelas of his Academy Award-nominated film, City of God. Growing up in a culture dictated by violence and run by street gangs, teenagers Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) have become close as brothers. With their eighteenth birthdays fast approaching, Laranjinha sets out to find the father he never met, while Acerola struggles to raise his own young son. But when they suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of a gang war, the lifelong friends are forced to confront a shocking secret from their shared past. A Miramax Films release

CITY OF MEN / CIDADE DOS HOMENS
(Paulo Morelli, Brazil, 2007, 110 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

In City of Men, producer Fernando Meirelles returns to the Brazilian favelas of his Academy Award-nominated film, City of God. Growing up in a culture dictated by violence and run by street gangs, teenagers Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) have become close as brothers. With their eighteenth birthdays fast approaching, Laranjinha sets out to find the father he never met, while Acerola struggles to raise his own young son. But when they suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of a gang war, the lifelong friends are forced to confront a shocking secret from their shared past.

A Miramax Films release

SANTIAGO (João Moreira Salles, Brazil, 2007, 80 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles) Santiago is an extraordinary documentary feature film by Joâo Moreira Salles (brother of Walter Salles). The filmmaker interviews his family's remarkable Argentine butler, a complex, cultured man adept in diplomatic missions and scholarly research. Ultimately,Santiago becomes a profound meditation on memory, social class and the very nature of documentary filmmaking. The film was recently acquired for the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection and it will be screening at MoMA as part of their annual Documentary Fortnight series, co-presented with Cinema Tropical.

SANTIAGO
(João Moreira Salles, Brazil, 2007, 80 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Santiago is an extraordinary documentary feature film by Joâo Moreira Salles (brother of Walter Salles). The filmmaker interviews his family's remarkable Argentine butler, a complex, cultured man adept in diplomatic missions and scholarly research. Ultimately,Santiago becomes a profound meditation on memory, social class and the very nature of documentary filmmaking. The film was recently acquired for the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection and it will be screening at MoMA as part of their annual Documentary Fortnight series, co-presented with Cinema Tropical.