Sao Paulo Int'l Film Festival

Sao Paulo Int'l Film Festival


The Festival was instituted in 1977 by film critic Leon Cakoff to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Masp - the Assis Chateaubriand São Paulo Art Museum. In the seven years Mostra was organized by the Masp Department of Cinema directed by Cakoff, many challenges in terms of censorship had to be overcome, for the country was under military dictatorship. Only in 1984, and independent from Masp, could Mostra defy censorship and sue the Federal Government for the right to show selected films directly to the public, with no prior censorship, as was the case until then.

Although Mostra won the lawsuit against the Federal Government (1984 was the last year of dictatorship), Mostra programming was suspended one week after the 8th edition had begun. Mostra was suspended for four days, enough to allow the censors from the Ministry of Justice, under Ibrahim Abi-Ackel, to see all of the films programmed for the festival. The dictator violence met with negative repercussions all over the world and a deadlock ensued for the next year, with Brazil in a process of re-democratization and an end to the cycle of military dictatorship.