25 de Março: Gathering the Stories of a Very Arab and Busy Street in Brazil

25 de março St in São Paulo, Brazil Registration for the film contest “The Arabs and 25th of March Street” (Os árabes e a 25 de Março, in Portuguese) has been extended until January 5th. The previous deadline, October 13th, has been postponed to a later date in order to give participants more time to prepare their films. 

The film contest is a partnership between the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Arab Culture (Icarabe).

According to the Arab Chamber’s cultural director, Silvia Antibas, the films produced for the contest will become a collection of the history of the 25th of March Street and the Arab immigrants who settled in the area in downtown São Paulo. Although 25th of March Street is one of the main commercial hubs in Brazil, there are few photos, documents and accounts of its history.

The street was named after the date Brazil’s Emperor Dom Pedro I enacted the first Brazilian Constitution, in 1824. The region was occupied from the late 19th century onwards by Arab immigrants to São Paulo.

Other streets in the area also house stores belonging to Arab immigrants and descendants until this day, such as Comendador Abdo Schahin Street, Barão de Duprat Street and Ladeira Porto Geral, among others. On holiday eves, 25th of March Street gets visited by over one million people in a single day.

According to Antibas and the Icarabe’s cultural director, Geraldo Adriano Godoy de Campos, the extension of registration will allow participants more time to prepare their films.

“They will be able to do more research, interview more people from the area and prepare their scripts. They will also have the opportunity to film towards the end of the year, when the street is busiest. The main thing is to create a collection,” said Campos.

In addition to recounting history, organizers want to highlight the importance of the immigration to São Paulo’s development. “The immigrants’ stories here originate narratives and facts worth telling,” said Campos.

The contest is divided into three categories: the Official Jury Prize winner will receive R$ 15,000 (US$ 6,657 at current exchange rates); the audience favorite is getting R$ 10,000 (US$ 4,438) and the winner of the Young Filmmakers Prize will be paid R$ 6,000 (US$ 2,662), but contestants in this category must be under 18.

Each participant may register up to two short films (maximum length of 15 minutes) about Arab immigration on 25th of March Street and surroundings. All genres will be considered, including fiction, documentary and even animation. No formal film training is required.

To participate in the contest, applicants need to read the regulations on the contest website, www.curta25.com.br and register their films on www.shortfilmdepot.com, under the link “Concurso ‘Os árabes e a 25 de março'” (Contest ‘The Arabs and 25th of March Street’).

Afterwards, they must fill in the registration form on the contest website and email it to cinema@icarabe.org.br alongside copies of their CPF (Brazilian social security card equivalent) and RG (identity card). Participation is free of charge.

The films selected by the jury will be announced on the contest’s website on February 18th and they will be screened between February 24th and March 11th. According to Antibas, the award ceremony is expected to be held on March 25th 2015, the National Day of the Arab Community in Brazil. The jury will be composed of Antibas, Campos, the filmmaker Otávio Cury plus one more member yet to be defined.

Service:
Film contest “The Arabs and 25th of March”
Information: www.curta25.com.br

Anba

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