You may recall that last summer Tambay chronicled the fundraising
efforts by filmmaker Eliciana Nascimento
for her short film The Summer of the
Gods, which was a rousing success (HERE).
Nascimento, last year, received her MFA in Cinema from San
Francisco State University, for which Gods was her MFA thesis film, as well as
her second narrative film. It’s firmly planted in the realm of magical realism, dealing with a
young girl who visits her grandmother in rural Brazil, where she encounters
Orishas, the magical gods from African
folklore, who challenge her with a mission.
As the filmmaker herself describes her film which is…
…set in the Northeast of Brazil where Afro-Brazilian religious
traditions remain strong. In the film, Lilli’s grandmother is in charge of an
annual celebration for the Orisha Yemanjá. In real life, the event is known in
Brazil as Festa de Yemanja and it is the largest Orisha celebration in the
country. In this event, devotees of African religious traditions dress in all
white to take their offerings to the sea to thank Yemanja for helping them in
their social and political struggles. In The Summer of Gods, this celebration
is at risk of expiring because Lili’s great-grandmother is about to pass away.
Grandma is a well revered local priestess who unites her community to honor the
Orishas. Lili is blessed by the goddesses as well. To preserve tradition, they
lead her on a mystical adventure through a nearby forest which symbolizes her
initiation into the tradition.
Now her film is completed, and Nasimento and her
co-producer, Benjamin Watkins, will be pre-screened the film for the first time at
the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, CA on Feb. 2, before it, no doubt, moves on to the international film festival circuit.
To find out more about that Oakland premiere screening go
HERE. Check out the new trailer for the film below:
The Summer of Gods – Trailer from Eliciana Nascimento on Vimeo.