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Tip: Frankfurt´s Premiere for Tata Amaral´s "Antonia" about 3 years ago
About the Movie “Antonia” – Premiere on 03. March 2010 at 20:30 at Harmonie Kino in Sachsenhausen, Frankfurt – Further information under firstname.lastname@example.org
“On the outskirts of the largest city in South America, four young black women struggle to make their dream of living off their music come true. The dream takes the shape and name of “Antonia” the rap group they form together. But the four of them will necessarily need more than just talent to survive in a world of exclusion, violence, poverty and male chauvinism. A warrior-like perseverance fuels the characters in Antonia, third feature-length film by Brazilian filmmaker Tata Amaral and the producers of Up Against Them All and City of God.
The movie capitalizes on the strong effervescent cultural scene found on the outskirts of São Paulo, but does not limit itself to it. “Antonia is more than just a film on rap, on hip-hop culture or a chronicle on life as lived by those on the other side of the river. For me, it’s a movie about women warriors”, says Fernando Meirelles, co-producer of the film and director of City of God. "It’s a movie to do away with the idea that “young lady” is synonymous with fragility or submission. Repeat after me: Women Warriors."
I won’t give up
Nobody can stand in my way
As long as I can fight
Nothing can stop me…
(Stop me, rap by Antonia)
Third film in the trilogy dedicated to feminine archetypes by Tata Amaral, Antonia comes after Um Céu de Estrelas (A Sky of Stars) (1997) and Através da Janela (Through the Window) (2000). In this new film, the virginal archetype, the woman who remains “true to herself”, takes the form of these girls from the outskirts of São Paulo who try to find a means of expression and a brighter perspective of life through rap. “Poor, black, excluded, many surmount incredible obstacles to find a place in life and deliver their message: the affirmation of women’s role in society”, says the filmmaker, who researched the universe found on the poorer outskirts of town for three years before beginning her movie.
The desire to impress in Antonia “the truth and urgency of those who live experiences similar to those of Preta, Barbarah, Mayah and Lena” guides the courageous aesthetical options taken by the director. Shot on location in houses, upper-story cement slabs and precariously illuminated streets in Vila Brasilandia, a suburb with a population of 280 thousand on the outskirts of São Paulo, the feature-length film counts on a cast made up of major Brazilian hip-hop stars and young local talents, picked from among 600 artists, musicians and singers. The option for using non-professional actors was deliberate. “Antonia was made using actors acting out their own story”, says Tata Amaral.
“Antonia reveals the conflicts lived by the characters, walking the tightrope between survival and the dream of singing.”
Negra Li (Preta)
The same principles govern the dialogues in Antonia, totally constructed in the interplay between the actors and the situations proposed by the screenplay, with a final version signed by the director Roberto Moreira (Up Against Them All). The cast’s preparation, which lasted three months of workshops, was headed by experienced Sergio Penna (Bicho de Sete Cabeças, Carandiru). "We found a nuclei of talent on the outskirts of São Paulo, he says.
One of Brazil’s rap stars from out of Vila Brasilândia, singer Negra Li, shares the main role in Antonia with black-music singer Leilah Moreno (Barbarah), actress, MC and free-styler Cindy (Lena) and rapper and dancer Quelynah (Mayah). Rapper Thaide, one of the forerunners of hip-hop in Brazil, loans her inside knowledge to charming manager Marcelo Diamante. Sandra de Sá, leading lady of Brazilian funk, and Thobias de Vai Vai, performer in one of the major samba schools in São Paulo, are special guests playing the role of Preta’s parents.
“This is our film. It shows that not only violence and death are to be found in the suburbs, but life and music as well”
Thaíde (Marcelo Diamante)
Antonia’s production is left up to Geórgia Costa Araújo (Iremos a Beirute and Up Against Them All) and counts on the participation of award winning professionals such as film editor Idê Lacreta, director of photography Jacob Sarmento Solitrenick and art director Rafael Ronconi. The soundtrack, put together by musician and producer Beto Villares and rapper and MC Parteum, explores the vocal potential of the protagonists and their varied styles in new compositions and classic Brazilian pop and soul music.
Pioneering experience in transmedia storytelling in Brazil, Antonia spins off into a homonymous TV series, conceived by Coração da Selva and developed by 02 Filmes and TV Globo, largest TV broadcasting company in Brazil, besides musical projects which include the video clip Na Sombra de Uma Arvore (In the Shade of a Tree), by singer Hyldon, one of the major classics of Brazilian soul music from the 70s."