Culture was the theme for the first annual Cape Verdean American Film Festival
The CVAFF kicked off Friday evening with Mike Costa’s documentary about cultural pride, Proud to be Cape Verdean: A Look at Cape Verdeans in the Golden State, which set the tone for the festival. Rashad Rouhlac, the festival’s founder proclaimed “This was a very good inaugural festival. We had a good turnout. We couldn’t make an event like this happen without the help of Lucy Continho and her Cape Verdean DC Network and our fantastic support staff; Marleny DaRosa and Paige Haggins. We established this association because we wanted to create a group for Cape Verdean Americans who weren't familiar or had questions about their unique culture. We also wanted to get people of all ages to get together and bond over shared interests.”
In The News
The 5th edition of the Cabo Verde International Film Festival (CVIFF) took place on October 16-19 in Santa Maria, the beach capital of Cabo Verde on the island of Sal. The festival was hosted by V!VA Imagens. For the past five years films have been submitted from Brazil, Portugal, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Cabo Verde, USA, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Germany, Luxembourg, Palestine, Italy, Cuba, and India. This year 81 films were submitted from around the world and 34 were selected. Films competed in four categories: short film, short documentary, feature film, and feature documentary. Executive Producer of the CVIFF, Suely Neves, says “The objective of CVIFF is to bring together art, cinema and industry with a suit of exceptional films and filmmakers. This year was the first time that we had online submissions only. With a window of 1½ months to submit we were surprised at the number of submissions especially because in 2010, the 1st edition, only five films were submitted. We´re gaining ground fast and there´s only one way to go about this and that is to keep moving forward.”
Jury members included: Cabo Verdean Television journalist, Rosana Almeida from Praia, Daniel O Duarte, artist/director from Sal and Los Angeles based producer/screenwriter, Mike Costa.
The festivities began on Wednesday with a reception held against the backdrop of a beautiful Santa Maria sunset at oceanfront hotel, Odjo d’agua, one of the festival’s partners. The Mayor of Sal, Jorge Figueiredo and hotel owner, Patone Lobo were in attendance. One of the organizers, artist and entrepreneur, Shokanti, has high hopes for the future of the festival. “I am pleased with the results of the 5th edition of CVIFF. This year we have established stronger local and international partnerships with our collaborators who have no doubt about our determination and passion for the film festival. Many have been discouraged by unforeseen obstacles in the past, however, we have managed to navigate around these barriers and complete five years with many more to come.”
Another highlight of the festival was a panel discussion on creating a Film Commission in Cabo Verde. The speakers were: Cesar Cardoso, Coordinator of the Center for Visual Arts and Cinema with the Ministry of Culture, Jury member, Mike Costa and Peter Da Silva, CEO of V!VA Images. Da Silva believes the festival helps broker relationships with networks, distributors, vendors and production companies across the globe. “Cabo Verde is unique because each island has its own individual landscape. White sand beaches, mountains, flat desert, an active volcano, black sand beaches and dense forests. Our film festival is here to help broker these relationships, and help establish another Industry that can help the citizens of the archipelago. Each year we've managed to grow. This is what excites me the most. It reconfirms that we're doing the right thing.”
The festival was well attended this year. Attendee Selma Neves made the trip from Praia. “Santa Maria is always a really special place to visit. With the addition of the CVIFF it has become even more special. The film festival is gaining momentum and it's starting to bring together a really cool group of inspirational people. I'm coming back again next year,” Neves professed.
CVIFF is quickly becoming a world class film festival as evidenced by its partnerships with the Cabo Verde Ministry of Culture, Camara Municipal of Sal, Movimentu Shokanti, 32, Hotel Odjo d Agua, the Olavo Moniz Secondary School, TAP Portugal, AVontade Tours, Hotel Morabeza, and Neptunus' ocean excursions. Melisa Tomar Vera-Cruz, a festival volunteer, exclaimed “How wonderful it was to be involved in this project that gains more interest every year. I hope to participate in many film festivals still to be done.” The festival closed on Sunday evening with a screening of “Cabo,” (out of competition) a film from Holland filmmaker, Ivan Barbosa.
The 2014 Cabo Verde Int'l Film Festival gains momentum as the 5th edition takes place on the island of Sal.
The 5th Edition CVIFF winners were:
Best Film - Sandgrains
Jordie Montevecchi & Gabriel Manrique (United Kingdom)
Best Feature Documentary – Kora
Jorge Correia Carvalho (Portugal)
Best Feature Film - Pecado Fatal / Fatal Sin
Luís Diago (Portugal)
Best Short Documentary - Terra Terra
Paola Zerman (Cabo Verde)
Best Short Film - Eu Não Tenho Herói / I Have No Hero
Rafael Aguiar (Brasil)