Presentation text Thomaz Farkas

We have arrived at the fifth version of the Fotoptica Videobrasil Festival with growing attendance and producers’ success. This year, two particular facts that will surely be seen during the Festival give us reason to celebrate: the indescribable professionalization of independent video and the palpable technological progress of video equipment.

Five years ago, the Festival was a brave, visionary adventure that showed a still-incredulous audience the fledgling work of talented young people who struggled with technical difficulties and equipment to engage in an activity that simply did not exist then. Today, these young video makers are already immersed in their profession; they have conquered a working space both in and out of television channels; they enjoy the prestige warranted by critical and audience acclaim. The work of these young people is now poised to undergo a rich maturation process, and the boundaries are nowhere to be seen.

On the other hand, rapid and exciting technological progress facilitates and enriches the video-making activity. Videodisc, high-definition video and the new vistas opened by digital systems are about to usher in a new exploration of technologies, whose benefits will become increasingly accessible to consumers, producers and video makers alike.

Five years ago, we sowed the seeds to an emerging activity whose fate was uncertain. Today, we are harvesting the fruit, certain that video and all of its electronic ramifications will occupy an ever larger space in our lives.

Text by host institution Bete Mendes

Each day, in our country, video becomes further established as a tool for Education, Science, Research, Marketing and, of course, Culture. Video is the core subject of a growing number of events, courses and meetings. Society has incorporated this new technology, keeps track of its evolution and debates its language. And when it comes to Culture, nothing is more important than the participation of society, the active presence of producers and cultural agents.

The State Secretariat for Culture could not remain indifferent to these developments. As a representative of the State, it must take on the role of manager, creating opportunities and space for society’s cultural manifestations. Its involvement with organizing the V Fotoptica Videobrasil Festival is a consequence of its commitment to helping encourage, foster and award prizes to production.

Other lines of action are worth mentioning. The II Stimulus Prize for video is already being programmed for this year. The culture workshop initiative Oficinas Culturais Três Rios provides human resource training in video and offers a vast program of events and special cycles. The Museum of Image and Sound, which is hosting this V Fotoptica Videobrasil Festival, is reflecting about its own actions, engaging in debate with video producers and professionals, rearranging and expanding its video library, creating a databank, and implementing a new technical framework to match its collection. It also holds a wide variety of events and exhibitions.

Finally, the State Secretariat for Culture is developing studies and proposing new lines of work to overhaul its Radio, Television and Video Commission, converting it into a body that will help outline an effective Cultural Policy.

Through these actions, the Secretariat for Culture displays its governing guidelines, striving for the dynamic, cutting-edge practice the sector deserves.

Text by host institution Guilherme Lisboa

A museum must be a place where preserved information can interact with creation, diffusion and free-flowing debate. Thus, the basic goal of the current phase of São Paulo’s Museum of Image and Sound is to consolidate the activity and continuously register audio and visual culture.

The Fotoptica Videobrasil Festival, already in its fifth edition, is now a definitive part of São Paulo’s cultural programming; it has opened up new vistas, spawned new ideas and brought people together.

Now, our concern is with organizing a set of permanent activities for the MIS’ Video Department, so that the Fotoptica Videobrasil Festival will not be a standalone event; so that we may offer audiences a constant programming, and organize and make our video library known as a center for information, documentation and discussion of issues relating to video.

Therefore, we hope the people who convene here once a year can soon be with us the whole year.

Text by host institution Roberto Muylaert

The importance of the fifth edition of the Fotoptica Videobrasil Festival will get wide coverage on TV Cultura. In addition to daily reports on the Panorama show, a special program, the 5th Videobrasil, will be exclusively dedicated to the exhibition.

Through this initiative, TV Cultura inaugurates a space to support independent production in Brazil, a concrete way of recognizing the high quality of work developed in this field.

The quest for new television languages, one of the qualities of independent video production, is part of TV Cultura’s current programming line, and fully justifies this new initiative.

In fact, Cultura is the newest (and perhaps the most important) independent production company in Brazil, considering a few characteristics of its presence on the Brazilian television scene. Its output far exceeds its equipment availability, it lacks funding, has plenty of desire and courage to experiment, enjoys growing success with audiences and fulfills a serious duty – to serve the community (and in addition to São Paulo, the TV Cultura community currently comprises ten other Brazilian states).

We are in fact beginning to apply in Brazil the concept of Public TV, so successful in the United States, Canada and some countries in Europe.

Public TV continues to emphasize its cultural, education mission, but now in a broader context of democratizing opportunities, while capturing the interest of viewers, something commercial TV cannot afford to do, by definition.

And we are very proud to know that this proposal includes our independent producer colleagues. It could not be otherwise.