Brazil’s Caru Alves de Souza Wins Pop-Up Residency Prize, Backed by Projeto Paradiso (EXCLUSIVE) – Variety


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By John Hopewell
Chief International Correspondent
Brazilian writer-director Caru Alves de Souza, whose second feature, “My Name Is Baghdad,” won the Crystal Bear for best film at Berlin’s 2020 Generation 14plus sidebar, has been selected for the Pop Up Film Residency 2022 program.
Alves de Souza will use the Residency to develop “Lonely Hearts,” her new fiction feature.
The award was announced Saturday at Cannes Marché du Film by Josephine Bourgois and Rachel do Valle, executive director and program director at Brazil’s Projeto Paradiso, which is backing the prize, and former Cannes Critics’ Week programmer Matthieu Darras, creator of Pop Up.
Alves de Souza will participate in the mentoring program for the development of a fiction feature, which runs over three weeks, in August, in Vilnius, Lithuania. She will receive a Paradiso Scholarship and travel support in the amount of Reais 5,000 ($1,000), in addition to becoming part of the Paradiso Talent Network.

Alves de Souza impressed with “My Name is Baghdad,” which turns on a 17-year-old female skater – Baghdad – who lives in a working-class hood in São Paulo, where she meets a group of female skateboarders, and her life takes a sudden turn. The film originated, she said at the time, from her “desire to work with stories and everyday situations lived by characters from a working class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of São Paulo, seeking the poetry that exists in prosaic situations.” She added that she was also drawn to the idea of portraying “strong and unusual female characters.”
2022 marks the third time Projeto Paradiso and Pop Up Film Residency have teamed up to support a Brazilian screenwriter. Previous winners were Beatriz Seigner and Esmir Filho. 
Also on Saturday, Projeto Paradiso unveiled Produire au Sud in Brazil, an international workshop dedicated to international co-production that will now have an edition especially for Brazilians, in partnership with Projeto Paradiso.
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