(Francesca Azzi, Indie Festival curator)

“I did not know that
to turn inside out
it was a deadly experience. ”
– Ana Cristina Cesar, in “A teus pés”

INDIE FESTIVAL 2020 will not have in its 19thedition its significant details – the physical and sensory part of the phenomenon and sign CINEMA. We will not have, the presence of the interested and busy audience for the next session, the ticket offices, the long lines, the conversations and endless exchanges in those same lines, the smells in the air in the lobby, the knocking of cups, the smell of coffee, the cheese bread is eaten in a hurry, the presence of friends and directors, the streets, the rainy walks in São Paulo, or the heady heat of Belo Horizonte … and especially: the dark screen (this icon of the movie theater) , the room itself crowded or empty, the film, its grandeur, its loud sound, its significant power colors!, the beginning, middle and end, the beginning, middle and end …

The Covid19 pandemic swept us almost every opportunity to return to movie theaters for 7 months. Almost everything in 2020, since March, was canceled: the countless previews, and hundreds of events, festivals, and film exhibitions that take place across Brazil and the world. A vigorous international market was adrift … There are countless ways to face a pandemic and undoubtedly, one of them, was to strengthen all online activities, indoor, #stayathome, including “watching a good movie”. A great ally to endure so much pain, loss, stress. We carried out an action called #zetanaquarentena, with art films, classics, independents, were available to watch for free. Of course, this “online cinema” in 2020 would not mean anything new, in a culture of numerous platforms with paid content. However, as the last link in the chain, platforms struggle to have what we call “unseen” content. The pandemic meant a very harsh disruption for the international independent cinema market, in this market logic, and for movie theaters closed for so many months, and in all areas of the word CULTURE.

INDIE withdrew from the isolation of the pandemic.

For almost 20 years, INDIE FESTIVAL has mirrored much of what we believe in as a film festival. Precise choices, months of much discussion, and exchanges. Independent films from around the world that meant something to us and built up over time, in the viewer, many meanings. A permanent search for new talents, for valuing the references of fundamental and aesthetic directors, and for a cinema that goes beyond the borders of a commercial market and points to the structurally artistic future of cinema.

However, life continues, even with all the weight and sadness in the many losses of the pandemic, we need to believe and give space to the voice of directors, producers, agents, distributors, so that the cinema continues in its existence. Moreover, for movie theaters survive after this pandemic is over.

INDIE FESTIVAL brings fundamental names from independent cinema in its first online edition.

It seems unbelievable that in this edition we have gathered such important names for international cinema as Dan Sallitt, Jennifer Reeder, Angela Schanelec, Koji Fukada, Pedro Costa, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Albert Serra, Wayne Wang, Seamus Murphy, and Garin Nugroho. These are the filmmakers, which will be featured in international programs (Retrospective, Premiere & Special Screening).

The big news is that INDIE FESTIVAL becomes a competitive festival starting in 2020 and we selected eight films so that a specialized jury composed of great specialists in the field, will choose the best INDIE 2020 film. This decision came to stimulate the distribution of titles in the Brazilian exhibition market. And to have the presence of key names for the competitive program such as master James Benning (On Paradise Road), the renowned Japanese documentary filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda (Zero), the new Asian cinema with the creative voices of Wang Xiaozhen (Love Poem), and the talented directors Liu Shu (Lost Lotus), Zheng Lu Xinyuan (A cloud in her room), which won the Tiger Awards in Rotterdam).

Latin American cinema represented by Sanctorum, by Joshua Gil from Mexico; August of the new Cuban director Armando Capó and an Argentine film directed by four filmmakers of different generations Unlimited Edition by Edgardo Cozarinsky, Santiago Loza, Virginia Cosin, Romina Paula. From Brazil, in Première: the debut in the direction of feature films by Leandro Lara with his beautiful and original Rodantes and the co-production Argentina / Brazil, of the sensitive La Botera, also the debut of the Argentine Sabrina Blanco.

INDIE 2020 presents in the DAN SALLITT Retrospective – the cinema of the renowned American director. One of the main authors of contemporary American independent cinema, Sallitt brings films with an apparent simplicity that proves to be of high complexity whether in everyday dialogues, in small events that prove to be of great relevance. The most interesting thing about Sallitt’s life and work is his way of making cinema, in an admirably independent, shrewd, original way.

And at the Special Screening program, we invited the director of Knives and Skin (which will make its Premiere here), the American Jennifer Reeder to set up what we call FFDF (FEMINIST FUTURE DREAM FEVER): four short films made by her in which the use of music, through acapella versions, choirs and bands, pop and metal songs; the high school aesthetic of the interior of the USA; and the striking work with the adolescent imagination, mainly female, create a unique identity for her films about relationships, traumas, anguish and how to mature with these experiences.

At INDIE 2020 we decided on a curatorial program with schedules and few screenings because almost all the films presented here are unreleased in Brazil, and we want to bet that they will also be seen in cinemas. The theaters, as well as all cinema-related activities that we believe, need to resist!

INDIE 2020 will bring unique opportunities for each spectator to experience this festival throughout Brazil. Therefore, we believe that we will be increasing our breadth, and offering such films for free, we try to participate more democratically in all these complex moments that we live.

Be welcome!

From 04 to 11 November
35 films, 16 countries, 43 screenings

International Competition

INDIE’s first competitive program in 19 editions. Eight films were chosen, in which Latin and Asians dominate the program, presenting works by veteran and new directors, documentary, and fictions. Current contemporary cinema in transition. Latin cinema in Sanctorum, by Mexican Joshua Gil; August by Armando Capó from Cuba and the Argentine film Unlimited Edition directed by four filmmakers from different generations: Edgardo Cozarinsky, Santiago Loza, Virginia Cosin and Romina Paula. On Paradise Road by James Benning, the genius American director. The first film by young Chinese director Zheng Lu Xinyuan, which won the Tiger Awards in Rotterdam, A cloud in her room, meets with other directors of the new generation of Asian cinema like Liu Shu, with her second film Lost Lotus; from Japan, Zero directed by Kazuhiro Soda, who has his observational method of producing documentaries; besides Love Poem, by Wang Xiaozhen, who acts and directs the film and plays with the notions of reality and interpretation.


Nine new films are in exhibition in the Première section. The program proposes unique sessions of new films not seen yet in the cinemas that had their releases interrupted by the pandemic. The program presents the latest films by directors such as Wayne Wang (Coming home again), Koji Fukada (A girl missing), Angela Schanelec (I was at home, but …), Pedro Costa (Vitalina Varela), Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin), Albert Serra (Liberté), Seamus Murphy (A dog called money), in addition to the films of Brazilian Leandro Lara (Rodantes) and the Argentine / Brazilian co-production La Botera, the debut of Argentine Sabrina Blanco .

Dan Sallitt

INDIE 2020 presents in this Retrospective program, in this online edition, the cinema of the American director Dan Sallitt. One of the main authors of contemporary American independent cinema, Sallitt makes films with an apparent simplicity that proves to be of high complexity whether in everyday dialogues, in small events that prove to be of great relevance. The cameraaccompanies meetings, frugal conversations that arise from walks with friends, romantic relationships, a certain mood and charm. Sallitt, who was born in Pennsylvania, United States, in 1955, besides being a filmmaker, is a screenwriter, was a film critic, in addition to writing for various publications such as The Chicago Reader, Slate and Mubi. The retrospective presents all of Sallitt’s films, including his latest work, the short Caterina (2019) and the features Fourteen (2019), The Unspeakable Act (2012), All the Ships at Sea (2004), Honeymoon (1998) e Polly Perverse Strikes Again! (1986).

Special Screening

For the Special Screening, INDIE invited Thai director ApichatpongWeerasethakul to choose one of his works for this online festival. The director chose the 2015 short Vapour, which shows the city where Apichatpong lives being surrounded by white clouds of insecticide. For him, the film is special because it deals with the house and how the environment creates this special condition for each one of us, especially after the quarantine experience. Another guest film is the feature Memories of my body, by Indonesian director GarinNugroho, which treats the issue of sexuality as a political issue, for Nugroho the film is an affirmation and a criticism. It states that the mixture of masculinity and femininity has always been a normal part of nature and tradition. It also criticizes violence against the body in social and political contexts. To complement the program, we invited American director Jennifer Reeder to choose some shorts made by her. Her work brings the mark of the female, young and adolescent universe to the cinema she makes. In Jennifer Reeder: FFDF (FEMINIST FUTURE DREAM FEVER) four shorts by the director in which the use of music, through versions acapella, by choirs and bands, from pop to metal songs; the high school aesthetic of the American countryside; and the striking work with the adolescent imagination, mainly female, create a unique identity for her films about relationships, traumas, anguish and how to mature with theseexperiences.

Fluxus Short Selection

Six national and international short films were chosen exclusively for the online version of INDIE and are available on the FluxusShort Selection. The name of the program, Fluxus, is a reference to the pioneering festival aimed at the exhibition of films on the Internet, which had its first edition 20 years ago, held by Zeta Filmes, the same producer of INDIE, the festival exhibited exclusively short films in the virtual environment, afterward held audiovisual exhibitions in the cities of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio. The program presents productions from Iran, Brazil, Switzerland, India, the USA and Germany.


The International Competition juryget togetherthree important names of critical thinking in the country.

Ivana Bentes is a researcher in the area of Communication and Culture with an emphasis on issues related to the role of communication, audiovisual production and new technologies in contemporary culture, she has a master and doctorate in Communication from the Escola de Comunicação da UFRJ, where she teaches for undergraduate and graduate in Communication and Culture.

Pablo Villaça has been a writer and cinema critic since 1994. He created the oldest cinema website on the Brazilian internet, Cinema emCena, which completes 23 years of activity in 2020. He is the author of two books and has published chapters in three others; he teaches cinematographic language courses across the country, totalling more than 6,000 students since 2009, and covers major international film festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, and Tribeca.

Cássio Starling Carlos is a film critic, audiovisual history researcher and editor of the blog Histórias de Cinema inFolha, Facebook and Instagram. Organizes and edits Folha’s film collections.







Daniella Azzi, Eduardo Garretto Cerqueira, Francesca Azzi



Daniella Azzi, Francesca Azzi



Voltz Design
Alessandra Maria Soares, Cláudio Santos
VIGNETTE Cláudio Santos (Direction), Leo Dutra (Animation) & Fabiano Fonseca (Soundtrack)
Lucas Junqueira
ETC Filmes



Dan Sallitt
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jennifer Reeder



Alessandra Soares, Alexandra Lerman, Armando Capó, Cássio Starling, Claudio Santos Rodrigues, Diana Cabral, Dylan Lustrin, Fabienne Mahé, Ivana Bentes, J Frisch-Wang, James Benning, Jessica Cruz, Jing XU, Joshua Gil, Koji Fukada, Juliana Guimarães Batista, Leandro Lara, Magdalena Banasik, Maria Ruggiere, Mohammad Talebi, Nélio Ribeiro, Pablo Villaça, Pedro Costa, Pedro Tavares, Roberto Moreira dos S. Cruz, Rodolfo Magalhães, Vrinda Samartha.