The film festival features Simonal, free sessions below Masp, and films for R$ 2 at Spcine

The International Film Festival begins this Thursday and will continue until the end of the month

Actress Isis Valverde and actor Fabricio Boliveira in a scene from Simonal – Promotional Photo


SÃO PAULO This Thursday, October 18 marks the beginning of the 42nd São Paulo International Film Festival which will run through October 31, showing 300 award-winning and notable films from a variety of countries. In addition to show locations distributed throughout the city (with tickets ranging from R$ 20 to R$ 24), part of the Spcine circuit will show films at promotional prices (R$ 2 a session). There will also be free shows under Masp featuring Brazilian and foreign classics (see below).

Some Brazilian productions that still haven’t been released officially will have previews at the festival. This is the case with Simonal, which tells the story of this musician who died in 2000. It was directed by Leonardo Domingues, who participated in the production of the documentary Simonal – No One Knows How Tough It Was (2009).

“I worked on the post-production of the documentary and became very involved with this subject. I read the biography written by Ricardo [Alexandre], and I found myself in it. For the film, I gathered together a little bit of everything that I’ve learned about the artist over time and this helped me make a fictional synthesis of this story,” states the director.

He tells us that the documentary was seen by more than 70 thousand people, becoming the most watched documentary that year. “But there’s a specific audience that likes documentaries. I wanted to tell this story to a larger audience,” he adds.

Forgotten for years, the singer of hits like “Nem Vem que Não Tem (Don’t Even Try It),” “Vesti Azul (I Wore Blue)” and “Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro (My Lime, My Lime Tree)” has once again become the subject of discussion because of this project. “He was considered an informant for the military dictatorship and even found it difficult to find sponsorship. The documentary shows his side of the story to people and exposes those who have never heard of him to his music,” reveals the director.

The story is retold with famous stars. Simonal and his wife Sandra Cerqueira are played by Fabricio Boliveira – who currently is having success as Roberval in the Globo novela Segundo Sol (Globo) and Isis Valverde.

“At the time of the film, I was already in contact with Max de Castro and Simoninha [Simonal’s children]. They said that a hundred actors auditioned before Icaro Silva was selected to play Simonal in the theatrical musical,” Domingues relates.

The choice of Boliveira came from the director himself. “He isn’t a singer, but I wanted to use the original recordings, given that no one has a voice like Simonal,” says Domingues. A similar technique was used with actress Andrea Horta in Elis (2016). The Simonal film depicts the 15 years that represent the height of his brief career from 1960 to 1975.


The 42nd São Paulo International Film Festival offers a selection of more than 300 Brazilian and international films and promotes discussions about cinema in its programming.

Some Brazilian productions that still haven’t been released officially, but are appearing in festivals and in previews, will appear at the festival, such as Sultry by Marina Meliande, and Mariana Ruy Barbosa’s double debut in cinema with Sequestro Relampago (Quicknapping) by Tata Amaral and Todas as Canções de Amor (Every Love Song) by Joana Mariani.

Simonal, for example, won three Kikitos at the Gramado Film Festival in August for Best Photography and Best Soundtrack (produced by his children Max de Castro and Simoninha) and Best Art. There will be homages to directors, actors and other films. “The classic Central Station is celebrating its 20th anniversary, so we’ll have a session with the entire cast, while The Red Light Bandit is celebrating its 50th anniversary,” the festival’s director Renata Almeida informs us.

Central Station will be shown on October 30 at 9 pm at the Itau Space for Cinema on Augusta Street. The restored version of The Red Light Bandit, on the other hand, will be shown on October 28 at 8:10 pm at the Cinemateca. “We’re also going to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. We’ve selected several films about him. One of them Invictus will be part of the programming under Masp” Renata tells us.

Another highlight among the free screenings will be the classic Pandora’s Box of 1928, which will be projected on the outside of the Ibirapuera Auditorium accompanied by the Jazz Symphonic Orchestra on October 27 at 7 pm.

The festival will close on October 31 at 7:30 pm with the screening of the film Roma by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, which won Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. The programming will include three other feature films, including the Romanian Touch Me Not, winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin.


SPCINE CIRCUIT (with R$ 2 sessions)

Here are the highlights of the first week

Run & Jump by Steph Green (Ireland/Germany)

Vanetia reconstructs her life after her husband suffers a stroke that changes his personality. The leisurely researcher Ted Fielding becomes a part of their lives and stays in their house for two months.

October 19 at 5 pm


L’il Quinquin by Bruno Dumont (França)

Two detectives investigate the Discovery of a dead cow filled with human remains. They’re followed by little Quinquin, a boy who creates confusion wherever he goes.

October 20 at 5 pm


Spcine Roberto Santos

Rua Cisplatina 550, Ipiranga, tel. (11) 94106-9011

68 seats


All the Other Days by Carlos Agullo (Spain)

Through the work diary of the doctor Pablo Iglesias, the audience witnesses the world of paliative care.

October 20 at 3 pm


Nina by Olga Chajdas (Poland)

Nina is a professor who seems to have a completely secure life, but she has to deal with conflicts that plague here routine

October 20 at 7 pm


Spcine Lima Barreto

Rua Vergueiro 1000, Paraiso, tel. (11) 99859-3037

99 seats


The Bangle Seller by Ere Gowda (India)

In a village, a bangle seller and his wife cannot have children and are the subject of gossip

October 20 at 7 pm


Germany, A Winter’s Tale by Jan Bonny (Germany)

Becky, Tommi and Maik form a right-wing terrorist cell that dreams of receiving national attention

October 21 at 7:30 pm


Spcine Olido

236 seats

Av. São João 473, Center, tel. (11) 95640-8564


Mochila de Chumbo (Lead Backpack) by Dario Mascaramboni (Argentina) ((((PHOTO))))

At the age of 12, Tomas takes a radical decision: he goes out on the street with his backpack which contains a loaded gun

October 18 at 7 pm


Right Here Right Now by Jakob Lass (Germany)

Oskar loves his life as it is: he’s the owner of a nightclub in Hamburg, and he has various love affairs and many friends

October 20 at 3 pm


Spcine Paulo Emilio

99 seats

Rua Vergueiro 1000, Paraiso, tel. (11) 99859-3037



Grande Otelo (left) and Oscarito in a scene from the film Matar ou Correr (Kill or Run), a slapstick comedy of 1954 by Carlos Manga. (Promotion)

Matar ou Correr (Kill or Run) (1954) by Carlos Manga. Starring Oscarito and Grande Otelo.

A little town is being terrorized by the bandit Jesse Gordon. Then one day the newcomers Kid Bolha and Cisco Kada arrive in town.

October 24 at 7:30 pm


Malandro (1986) by Ruy Guerra. Starring Edson Celulari and Claudia Ohana ((((PHOTO)))).

Based on the musical of the same name by Chico Buarque, this feature film portrays an elegant and popular con-man who takes advantage of a cabaret singer.

October 26 at 7:30 pm


The actor Morgan Freemen (left) in the role of Nelson Mandela, and actor Matt Damon in the role of François Pienaar in a scene from the film Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Invictus (2009) by Clint Eastwood. Starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

Nelson Mandela, the President of South Africa, asks Françõis Pienaar the captain of the national rugby team to unite the country through sport.

October 27 at 7:30 pm

Under the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP)

Av. Paulista 1578, Bela Vista, tel. (11) 3149-5959

500 seats



Inezita, a documentary by Helio Goldsztejn

Inezita Barroso (1925-2015) revolutionized Brazilian music. But her journey was not easy.

October 18 at 9:50 pm at the Moreira Salles Institute

October 19 at 5:45 pm at Cinearte Petrobras

October 27 at 4:50 pm at Playarte Maraba


Simonal by Leonardo Domingues. Starring Fabricio Boliveira and Isis Valverde.

Follows the rise and fall of Wilson Simonal (1938-2000), a Brazilian singer who came from a poor background to become a great success in the 1960s and 1970s.

October 23 at 9:45 pm

October 24 at 2 pm

October 27 at 3:40 pm

At the Itau Space for Cinema – Frei Caneca


O Samba É Meu Dom (Samba is my Gift), a documentary by Cristiano Abud

Between 2009 and 2012, Cristiano Abud’s film crew accompanied the Samba player Wilson das Neves (1963-2017). The result is this documentary.

October 23 at 8 pm at the Reserva Cultural

October 24 at 1:30 pm at Itau Space for Cinema – Frei Caneca

October 26 at 3 pm at the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS)


Sidney Santiago, Daniel Rocha and Marina Ruy Barbosa during the filming of Sequestro Relampago (Quicknapping), a new film by Tata Amaral.

Sequestro Relampago (Quicknapping), a film by Tata Amaral. Starring Marina Ruy Barbosa and Daniel Rocha.

Isabel is the victim of a kidnapping as she leaves a bar. Inexperienced, the kidnappers realize that they won’t get to an ATM before they close at 10 pm and decide to hold on to her.

October 19 at 9:40 pm at CineSesc

October 21 at 2 pm at the Itau Space for Cinema – Augusta

October 29 at 4:20 pm at the Itau Space for Cinema – Frei Caneca


Torre das Donzelas (The Maidens’ Tower), a documentary by Susanna Lira

The film depicts new information regarding the time spent by ex-President Dilma Rousseff and her ex-colleagues in a cell in the Tiradentes Presidio in São Paulo during the military dictatorship.

October 26 at 9:30 pm at Cinearte Petrobras

October 27 at 1:40 pm at Caixa Belas Artes

October 30 at 3:40 pm at the Itau Space for Cinema – Frei Caneca



R$ 20 (Mon., Tue., Wed. and Thu.) and R$ 24 (Fri., Sat. and Sun.)

The cinema boxoffices sell tickets for the sessions of the same day.

Advance ticket sales are available at the Festival Center from 11 am to 9 pm.

At the Conjunto Nacional (Av. Paulista 2073, tels. (11) 2172-2042 / 2172-2043)

*The complete schedule with addresses and age classifications is available through the official website: