The Festival


Over the past few years, slowly but steadily, Brazil has been climbing the heights to become the 5th biggest economy in the world, and now it’s even preparing to host two of the most important global events: the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 World Cup. All this has inspired the 5th Brazil Film Fest in Toronto to begin a celebration of the diverse and rich culture of Brazil’s many states, starting in 2011 with the theme of Bahia, a place for everybody.

Bahia is the cradle of Brazil. The first Portuguese explorers arrived there in 1500 and, years later, Salvador was chosen as the first capital of the colony. This area has always had a fundamental role in the Brazilian economy, actively participating during the sugar, rubber and cocoa cycles until turning itself into a powerful site for the petrochemical industry and a hot tourist destination.

The state is also a major cultural reference for the nation. During the slave trade, 37% of all African slaves bought and sold were brought to Brazil, usually landing in Salvador before being dispatched to other locations. This made Bahia a unique place, with a strong African influence. giving rise to special cultural phenomena like the Candomblé religion, stemming from Yoruba origins; the Brazilian martial art, capoeira; the samba de roda traditional dance and also the afoxé musical instrument and the axé music genre; plus a rich cuisine with a strong flavour of the West African coast.

Bahia is also the hometown of famous artists like the revolutionary film director Gláuber Rocha; singer/composer Dorival Caymmi; poet Castro Alves; the mastermind behind bossa nova, João Gilberto; the folks from Tropicalismo, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia and Gal Costa; poet Gregório de Matos; screenwriter Dias Gomes; writer João Ubaldo Ribeiro; the internationally acclaimed singer Daniela Mercury; actor Lázaro Ramos; singer Ivete Sangalo; actor Wagner Moura; the creative musical genius of Carlinhos Brown; actor Vladimir Brichta; and of course, the great writer Jorge Amado. But the state also welcomed and fed the creativity of French photographer Pierre Verger; the Portuguese writer Padre Antônio Vieira and Carybé, the Argentinian visual artist.

Now it’s time to bring this rich and unique culture from Bahia to Canada, to show off the Afro-Brazilian style of life on the big screen at the 2011 Brazil Film Fest.

Check out the Photo Gallery!