Saturday, 15 May 2010, 2.30pm, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

This one-day event brings the prize-winner Brazilian filmmaker Sandra Kogut to CILAVS for a talk on the complex interweaving of documentary and fiction in two of her feature films, A Hungarian Passport (Um Passaporte Húngaro) and Mutum. The film screenings will be followed by a conversation with the film director and a drinks reception. The programme of screenings has been organized by Dr Luciana Martins (CILAVS) with the support of the Brazilian Embassy in the UK.


2.30 – 3.45pm   A Hungarian Passport (Um Passaporte Húngaro, Sandra Kogut, Brazil/France/Belgium/Hungary 2001, 72′, Portuguese, French, and Hungarian with English subtitles)

Speaking over the telephone with the Hungarian consulate, Sandra Kogut asks, ‘Can someone who has a Hungarian grandfather obtain a Hungarian passport?’ The administrative process  of obtaining a passport becomes the narrative thread of this disarmingly unaffected film diary. Kogut creates a private journal of her trips to and from Brazil, Hungary, and France, recording the Kafkaesque experience of her frustrating and often hysterical attempts to jump through the necessary bureaucratic hoops. On the way, she explores a painful family history of forced emigration and a hidden legacy of anti-Semitism as she confronts some essential questions: What is nationality? What is a passport for? What should we do with our heritage? How do we construct our history and our own identity?

3.45 – 4.15pm    Q&A with Sandra Kogut

4.45 – 6.20pm    Mutum (Sandra Kogut, Brazil/France 2007, 95′, Portuguese, with English subtitles).

Based on the coming of age novel Campo Geral (1964) by João Guimarães Rosa that Kogut adapted with Ana Luiza Martins Costa, Mutum is set in the sertão, an isolated part of Brazil’s interior. Hoping to tell a fictional story ‘built out of things that exist in real life,’ Kogut spent more than a year in the countryside, getting to know local farmers and their families and eventually casting her film from their community. The story’s centre is ten-year-old Thiago (Thiago da Silva Mariz), a dreamer at odds with his harshly practical and increasingly violent father. The film has no score, only the naturally-occurring sounds made by birds, animals, insects and day to day activities. The result is a film that while not pretending to be a documentary, it feels intensely real. Mutum was premiered at the distinguished Director’s Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. The film received more than 20 national and international awards, being screened in the festivals of Toronto, London, Rotterdam, Berlin and Pusan, among others.

6.20 – 6.50pm    Q&A with Sandra Kogut

6.50 – 8.00pm    Drinks reception

The  Film Director: Sandra Kogut

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1965, Sandra grew up in Brazil, spent more than a decade in France and now lives in the United States. Since 1984 Sandra has performed, written, directed and produced theatre, documentary and musical television, advertisements, videos and films. In 1996 she participated in the creation of Brasil Legal (Globo Network), becoming its director. She created Parabolic People in 1991, which was produced by CICV Pierre Schaeffer (France) and filmed in Paris, New York, Moscow, Tokyo, Dakar and Rio de Janeiro.

Sandra taught at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg (France), and at the American Universities of Princeton and UCSD (University of California San Diego). Her work was exhibited at the Moma / NY, Guggenheim Museum and Forum des Images / Paris, among others. Retrospectives of her work were held at several art institutions, including the Harvard Film Archives (US), the The Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg (France), and the Zo Centro Culture Contemporanee in Catania, Sicily. Sandra is currently working on her next fictional feature film.