Cannes Film Festival 2024: Brazil's "The Girl and The Pot” will make its world premiere

Directed by Valentina Homem and produced by Sempre Viva, the short animation film will be screened in the Critics' Week competitive showcase.

10 MAY 2024

"The Girl and The Pot”

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Directed and produced by Valentina Homem from Sempre Viva, the short animation film "The Girl and The Pot" will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, as part of the Critics' Week competitive selection, and will have its first screening on May 21 at Cinéma Miramar. The short is based on a story written by the filmmaker herself in 2012, a parable born out of a cathartic attempt to translate the experiences of early adulthood.

"Some of the symbols that organize the narrative are metaphors for very intimate episodes: the pot, its breaking, the emptiness that filled it, the loss of contours, the search for a lid and the final integration with the emptiness inside the pot. Years later, I was researching Amerindian cosmogony and experimenting with Amazonian Sacred Plants, and I realized how the girl’s trajectory mirrored, in some way, that of a shamanic initiation. When we started making the film, I decided to imbue the story with symbols that would root the girl in Amerindian culture," Homem said.

To turn this into a movie, Valentina had the advice of indigenous anthropologist Francy Baniwa, and the script, in addition to the two of them, also had the collaboration of Nara Normande, Tati Bond and Eva Randolph. The film uses the technique of painting on glass, that reflects the Girl's journey, which is in constant transformation, materialized in the fluidity, fusion and loss of contours of the animation.

The Girl speaks Nheengatu, or Língua Geral, which developed from a European-influenced indigenous language in the 16th century, and then became the most widely spoken language in Brazil. It was later banned, but remained the main language of some indigenous groups in the Upper Rio Negro region. The Girl speaks Nheengatu because it is Francy Baniwa's mother tongue and also because of the connections Valentina has established with the anthropologist's community.

"The Girl And The Pot" is born in the continuous present dystopia in which we live: the end of the world is now, not in the distant future. The Amazon rainforest is dangerously close to the point of no return, will we only realize this when there is nothing left to see?. The film is the fruit of our collective dream: to dream of the forest, to be forest - to rescue ancestral memories, which also preserve what is to come. Amerindian mythologies, unlike Western thinking, do not conceive of a world without us, so I think of our time as a pre-cosmogonic era, but it is urgent to reforest our imaginaries - and I hope that the film can be a portal to a possible future," concludes the director.