Fight over Brazil's Participation in Cannes Brewing between São Paulo Audiovisual Union and Government Export Agency

APEX did not renew financial support of "Cinema of Brazil" program

Guillermo Genestreti
São Paulo

Brazil’s limited participation in the Cannes Festival has created a divide between the Brazilian government and the film industry, particularly the São Paulo audiovisual union. 

APEX (Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments) decided not to renew its sponsorship of  the program " Cinema of Brasil" in the festival’s business market, instead choosing to encamp its activities within the French part. This has caused bad blood between APEX and the Brazilian film industry. 

Brazilian actress Brazilian actress Maeve Jinkings poses on May 18, 2016 during a photocall for the film "Aquarius" at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. / AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT - AFP

Brazil has mounted its own stand at the film market since 2006, allowing Brazilian film industry participants to have meetings there with international partners. The stand also promoted Brazilian productions to international distributors. Until this year, APEX always sponsored this stand. 

Even without support this year, the "Cinema of Brazil" program negotiated with the festival's management for its participation in the 2019 edition, which begins in May. The booth is secured and the promotional activities will occur as well.

But now the agency seeks to occupy the space and centralize these actions. "Apex is not a partner or inventor of the program, but now she wants to get the booth we pay for and make us work for free," says André Sturm, the founder of Cinema do Brasil. "A booth in Cannes is not like a booth at a car show, you need the expertise to play those trades."

Asked to respond, the agency says it does have "analysts specialized in the creative economy and audiovisual sector" and that the action will be done in the mold of Brazilian participation in recent international events such as the Design Week in Milan and the festival SXSW, Texas.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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