My first trip to South America! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show “Forgetting Dad” in the highly selective international competition section (only twelve films) at South America’s largest and most important documentary film festival, even though it meant forsaking the US premiere at Full Frame in North Carolina. Based in São Paulo with additional screenings in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, É Tudo Verdade is a highly regarded event in the international documentary world. It also offers one of the largest cash prizes I’ve ever heard of – R$100,000 (about $50,000 US) – for the best Brazilian documentary.
As it is, I ended up seeing only one program of Brazilian shorts (quite good, by the way), and spent much of the rest of the time being a tourist with my son Jonathan, who is the little kid in the garden scene in the middle of “Forgetting Dad” (he also re-appears in the end title sequence). The festival staff in São Paulo, especially American Michael Gibbons and Brazilian Daniela Wasserstein, took excellent care of us, taking us to great restaurants and such fun places as the soccer museum and the Parque do Ibirapuera. And thanks to our German acquaintance Matthias Holtmann, who took us to the bustling downtown market and the peaceful botanical gardens. And thanks, above all, to festival director Amir Labaki, for being so supportive of FD.