The film Jesus Kid was the winner in 3 categories at the 46th edition of the Gramado Festival: best direction and best script for director Aly Muritiba from Paraná and best supporting actor for Leandro Daniel. The awarding ceremony was held in person and broadcast over the internet last Saturday (21), directly from the city in the Serra Gaúcha.
The film is an adaptation of a book of the same name by Lourenço Mutarelli, with direction and screenplay by Aly Muritiba. Aly received an invitation to script and direct actor Sérgio Marone, who bought the rights to the book. The work deals with the story of Eugenio, a character made by singer and actor Paulo Miklos, who is a struggling western writer. Your most famous character, Jesus Kid, sales are going poorly. Then comes what could be his salvation: he is hired to write the script for a movie and for that, he needs to be confined in a hotel for 3 months. And, he begins to be visited by the character of his film, Jesus Kid, staged by actor Sérgio Marone, who is also the film’s producer.
Aly Muritiba is responsible for films such as Ferrugem (2018), awarded in Gramado, and Para Minha Amada Morta (2015). To Brazil de Facto Paraná, he said that it was almost ten years before they managed to put the film on its feet and highlighted the importance of continuing to insist on Brazilian art. “I think having two films right now is the way to send a message to this fascist government that they won’t shut us up, won’t stop us.” The other movie, Private Desert, will compete at the Venice Film Festival, which will be held later this year.
Check out the interview:
Brazil in fact: I would like you to tell us how was the encounter with the story of this film and the whole process until reaching this award so important?
Aly Muritiba: Jesus Kid is the adaptation of a book of the same name written by Lourenço Mutarelli, whose rights were purchased by actor Sérgio Marone. In 2012, I met Sérgio at the Los Angeles Festival and there he saw a short film of mine. He liked my work and invited me to write the script and direct Jesus Kid. I had never made a feature film or comedy. I thought it would be a great challenge. Almost 10 years working on the script until I got the resources to make the film.
The story is about Eugene, a writer of pocket book western who is living his worst days. So he receives two invitations: one of them is to be ghost writer the biography of the country’s president and the other invitation to a screenplay about a writer writing in a hotel and experiencing a crisis of creativity. Within these two bizarre proposals, he accepts the second and retires to a hotel. There, he also begins to be pursued by emissaries of the President of the Republic who want to convince him at all costs.
What are the joys and difficulties in putting this film on its feet?
The filming process was a great joy. We had fun all the time, with a lot of people from Curitiba, with a group that had been working for a long time. We were telling an amusing story. Now, until we got the conditions to film it was the great difficulty: it took almost ten years to get funding.
You have been inserted in the national cinema context for some time. But, having started here in Paraná, do you still see many challenges for Paraná’s cinema?
Although I’m not from Paraná, I’m from Bahia, I started making cinema in Paraná in 2008. I went to Faculdade de Cinema in Paraná. And, to this day, I try to take my productions to Paraná. Jesus Kid is one such case. It’s a story that originally took place in São Paulo, but I decided to take it to film all of it in Curitiba.
The audiovisual from Paraná always faces many difficulties because we depend on public incentives both at the municipal and state levels. The resources are very limited in the city and state, there is not always a notice.
From Paraná, the cast also includes actress Maureen Miranda and actors Luthero de Almeida, Fábio Silvestre and Otávio Linhares.
How do you feel about being awarded at this moment of the pandemic and the Brazilian government’s neglect and attacks on art and artists?
I currently have two feature films ready, one of them is Jesus Kid and the other is Private Desert, it’s about love, encounters and this conservative society that we’re in. This premieres next month at the Venice Film Festival, one of the biggest in the world.
I think having two films right now is the way to send a message to this fascist government. They will not silence us, they will not stop us, even though they will try to destroy us, we will resist. Everyone who’s making art right now is a resister. Since this fascist president is so fond of the language of war, I say that every culture maker is a soldier, each one in his trenches to face the fascism that they spit on us daily.
Check out all the winners of the Gramado Film Festival, in the Brazilian feature films category:
Best Film – Carro Rei, by Renata Pinheiro
Best Direction – Aly Muritiba, by Jesus Kid
Best Actor – Nando Cunha, in O Novelo
Best Actress – Glória Pires, in A Suspeita
Best Screenplay – Aly Muritiba, by Jesus Kid
Best Photography – Bruno Polidoro, for A Primeira Morte de Joana
Best Editing – Tula Anagnostopoulos, for Joana’s First Death
Best Musical Score – Dj Dolores, by Carro Rei
Best Art Direction – Karen Araújo, by Carro Rei
Best Supporting Actress – Bianca Byington, for Homem Onça
Best Supporting Actor – Leandro Daniel Colombo, for Jesus Kid
Best Sound Design – Guile Martins, by Carro Rei
Best Film by the Popular Jury – O Novelo, by Claudia Pinheiro
Best Film by the Critics Jury – Joana’s First Death, by Cristiane Oliveira
Special Jury Prize for Matheus Nachtergaele, in Carro Rei
Honorable mention for Fernando Lufer, Michel Gomes, Victor Alves, Kaike Pereira, Pedro Guilherme and Caio Patricio in O Novelo.
Honorable mention for Isabel Zuaa for her performance in O Novelo
Source: BoF Paraná
Edition: Pedro Carrano