Filmmaker Everlane Moraes Reflects on the 2021 Flaherty Seminar

Editor’s Note: Each year, Firelight Media supports a filmmaker from our network of fellows and grantees to attend the annual Flaherty Film Seminar. This year, we supported Everlane Moraes, a recipient of our inaugural William Greaves Fund. Below is an English-translated reflection by Moraes on her experience of the seminar, followed by the original Portuguese-language post.

Screenshot from flahertyseminar.org.

I have always wanted to participate in the Flaherty Film Seminar, a cinematographic immersion space that, since 1954, has been promoting the understanding of cinema as a powerful artistic and political tool to reflect and propose human perspectives on the relationship we establish with beings in the world. Collaborative and critical spaces like this one are essential for filmmakers like me, who work in a strand of hybrid documentaries, formal experimentation, and identity.

The opportunity to spend these days watching carefully-selected films, taking meetings with the authors of the films, and participating in group discussions with the other participants was enriching. And this year was particularly special, as we had Janaina Oliveira as curator, an important scholar of Black and African cinema. Janaina provided us with wonderful encounters and an incredible thematic axis about the idea of “Opacity,” which dialogues with my own work, helping me to expand my thematic and formal research. There were intense days of screenings, analysis, criticism, and exchanges — an experience that left a deep impression on me.

Finally, as an Afrodiasporic Black, Latin American, and South American filmmaker and documentarian who comes from a violent sociocultural reality like that of Brazil, I want to say that it is more than essential that in these spaces we can have more and more diversity, not only of bodies and contexts, but also views and perspectives.

I could not fail to thank the William Greaves Fund at Firelight Media which awarded me a scholarship to participate in this important event. Firelight Media is helping to finance the development of my first feature film O Navio eo Mar, which I’m co-directing with Mozambican filmmaker Lara Sousa.

Everlane Moraes is a documentary filmmaker who graduated from the International Film and TV School (EICTV — Cuba), specializing in documentary direction. She holds a degree in visual arts from the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS — Brazil), and is currently developing feature film projects: The Ship and the Sea (co-production Brazil, Mozambique, and Portugal — 2019), The Station (co-production Brazil and France), and the Pattaki series (co-production Brazil and Cuba — 2020).

L‍earn more about the Flaherty Film Seminar here.

Learn more about Firelight Media’s William Greaves Fund here.

Sobre a 66º edição do Flaherty Film Seminar. 2021

Sempre quis participar do Flaherty Film Seminar. Um espaço de imersão cinematográfica que desde 1954, vem promovendo a compreensão do cinema como uma ferramenta artística e política extremamente potente para refletir e propor perspectivas profundamente humanas na relação que estabelecemos com os seres com o mundo. Espaços colaborativos e críticos como esse são essenciais para cineastas como eu, que trabalham uma vertente de documentários híbridos, de experimentação formal e identitários.

A oportunidade de estar todos esses dias assistindo a filmes criteriosamente selecionados, os encontros com os autores dos filmes e as discussões levantadas em grupo com os outros participantes foi enriquecedor. E esse ano foi especial, pois tivemos como curadora a Janaina Oliveira, uma importante estudiosa dos cinemas negros e africanos, que nos proporcionou maravilhosos encontros e um eixo temático incrível, sobre a ideia da Opacidade, que dialoga com os meus trabalhos, me audando a expandir a minha pesquisa temática e formal. Foram dias intensos de projeções, análises, críticas e confrontos. Uma experiência que me marcou profundamente.

Por fim, como uma cineasta/documentarista afro diaspórica negra latinoamericana e sul americana, advinda de uma realidade sociocultural violenta como a do Brasil, quero dizer que é mais do que essencial que nesses espaços possamos ter, cada vez mais, a diversidade, não somente de corpos e contextos, como também de olhares e perspectivas. Não poderia deixar de agradecer ao William Greaves Fund — Firelight Media, que me concedeu uma bolsa para participar desse importante evento. Instituição essa que está financiando o desenvolvimento do meu primeiro longa-metragem O Navio e o Mar, que co-dirijo com a cineasta moçambicana Lara Sousa. Muitíssimo obrigada!

Firelight Media is dedicated to supporting documentary filmmakers of color and cultivating audiences for their work. We’re #changingthestory.