Afro-Brazilian filmmaker, scholar Araujo set for residency

Award winning Afro-Brazilian filmmaker and scholar Joel Zito Araújo returns to UNC-Chapel Hill as scholar-in-residence at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center during February 2014.

Araújo previously visited the Stone Center in 2004 as a visiting artist. Throughout February, Araújo will visit classes at UNC and other area colleges and universities to participate in lectures, discussions and host screenings and discussion of his films. UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Office of the Provost are also providing support for Araújo’s residency.

Araújo will open his residency on Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m. at the Stone Center. Araujo and noted Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Germina (Teza, Adwa, Sankofa) will screen excerpts from their films followed by a discussion moderated by St. Augustine University professor Natalie Bullock-Brown. Other events include:

  • February 11 at 7 p.m. the Stone Center and the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill to screen Raça at the Mandela Auditorium at the FedEx Global Education Building. Both screenings will include post-film discussion with Araújo.
  • February 20 at 7 p.m. the Stone Center to screen Ajaujo’s film, Filhas do Vento (Daughters of the Wind) in the Stone Center’s Hitchcock Room.

Araújo is an acclaimed filmmaker, director, writer and producer of films and TV programs (24 documentaries, 22 shorts, 3 full-length features). Most notable of his efforts is the award-winning Denying Brazil, the saga of black actors in Brazil’s famed soap operas or novellas. This full-length documentary film chronicles the prejudices, taboos, and evolution of the Black Brazilian image through characters in Brazilian novellas. Written and directed by Araújo, the film received the script award prize in the Ministry of Culture’s 1999 National Documentary Competition. His reputation was solidified with the release of his first narrative feature, 2004’s Filhas do Vento, another affirmation of Brazil’s black population that was also welcomed by those who longed to see multi-racial images and stories of Brazil on screen. Filhas do Vento won eight top awards, including best film and best director at the 32nd Gramado Film Festival, Brazil’s equivalent of the Oscars. The film had its U.S. premieres at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in June 2004 and at the Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film at the Stone Center in October 2004.

His most recent release, Raça is the first feature-documentary on the nation’s struggles to achieve racial equality to be nationally released in Brazil. The film follows three Afro-Brazilian protagonists whose lives demonstrate the profound and historic changes the country is experiencing. The film is part of an innovative and far-reaching campaign that will bring the filmmakers together with grassroots organizers to push for concrete social change. In support of this concept the filmmakers will donate their box office proceeds to the newly created Baobá Fund for Racial Equity.

For more information on Araujo’s visit at UNC, including film screening dates, lectures and area university visits, please contact the Stone Center at 919-962-9001.

See a complete listing of Stone Center program and activities.