Writen by Henrique Barbosa Macedo
Produce a film is not easy, it involves budget, work and time to make it. A movie can take months or years to be done, from the pre-production until the post-production. However, when the film is complete, it only starts to have cultural value when it was screened for an audience, and that is one of the most laborious works for production.
This hardship for movies to have a cultural value, allowing the movie to be distributed on many screens, making economic capital can be helped (or not) by screening in film festivals. The Brazilian film “Rust” directed by Ally Muritiba is one good example of how film festivals can make a film go to the mainstream and have more opportunities after film festivals.
The “Rust” started to be produced in 2014 and after the post-production and inscribed in films festival in 2017. It was select to the World Cinema Dramatic Competition in Sundance Film Festival and International Film Festival of Gramado in 2018. To be part of such big Film Festivals can be an excellent way to achieve cultural and economic value.
However, the global stage in Sundance divided critics between good reviews from the website The Variety, and also bad reviews by The Playlist. Those two different points of view can shift how distributors and cinemas could accept a movie.
Considering the Sundance visibility, the film went to International Film Festival of Gramado with a little bit more cultural value and expectation. This exposition in Sundance helped the film to get a space in the media, and started to be followed by the Brazilian Audience. In Gramado, “Rust” also received the award of the Best National Film, generating even more credibility and value for this production.
With Film Festival building value and validating films to the audience, now this cultural product is being shown in a large number of screens in Brazil, something that would not be possible considering the Brazilian market and “taste” for the distributors and screen owners.
One exciting aspect of the “Rust” and how it performed during the Films Festivals is that besides the bad reviews, the cultural value construction during the Sundance Film Festival opened the gate to a better opportunity for the film during the International Film Festival of Gramado. This case from Brazil shows one point of view of Bourdieu distinguish way to see and evaluate capitals in Cultural Industries, where the cultural product may have different types of capitals (cultural, economic, social, and symbolic), and when the product starts to be in touch with an audience it can build and grow different capitals. In this case, the cultural capital started to be built during the festival, and now it is generating economic capital as profits from cinema boxes.
Now, the question for the future of this specific movie, that crossed gatekeepers from the international film festival is: How this film will sustain and generate a long tail to build more economical, symbolic and social capital? Or this film will be only time framed and not valuable after the time? Give your comments below about it.