Five years after the assassination of Marielle Franco, a young community leader born in the favela of Rocinha, Magda Gomes, follows the journeys of Black women in Brazilian politics as she contemplates which path to take toward her future.
PRESENTE! follows the journey of Magda Gomes, a young Black woman born in Rocinha, the second largest favela in Brazil. Actively organizing in her community since she was a teenager, Magda has worked as a volunteer for many social projects, has begun several of her own, and, today, after a brief period working as a parliamentary aid at the Rio de Janeiro City Council, is contemplating her next move. Should she enter the complex game of party politics and take the first steps on the path toward one day becoming a congresswoman, governor, or, who knows, the first Black woman to be president of the country? Or should she bring her focus back to community social projects, where her freedom to act is greater, and the impact of her actions would be more visible and immediate?
Seeking role models and inspirations, Magda looks to several other Black women, who have risen up in the world of Brazilian politics following the shocking murder of city councilwoman Marielle Franco, known for her human rights advocacy and fight against police brutality. These women include Anielle Franco, Marielle’s sister, founder of the Marielle Franco Institute, and the current Minister of Racial Equality in President Lula’s administration; Talíria Petrone, one of the main Black female political leaders of the country, who has served two terms as a city councilwoman and two terms as a federal congresswoman; and Mônica Francisco, a progressive Evangelical pastor who was unable to win reelection upon completing her first term as a state congresswoman.
Within a hostile political environment where they face frequent threats and their voices and bodies are under constant attack, these women continue fighting to keep Marielle’s legacy alive.
PRESENTE! is more than a film. The word, meaning “present” in Portuguese, became a battle cry for Black women at protests following the politically motivated assassination of Marielle Franco, who I personally met during college, at sessions where she talked to women about feminism and power. She was my own age and just at the start of her political career, but I could tell she was a force. Even after leaving Brazil to live in the USA, I kept following and cheering on her achievements, and the disruption caused by her assassination gutted me. I knew I had to do something. The film is an affirmation that her legacy goes on, through all the black women who keep fighting, no matter how many times and how violently others may try to stop it.
Director Livia Perini Borjaille
Award-winning Brazilian New York-based director, known for producing, shooting, and directing high-quality value content films, documentaries, brand content, and TV shows. Livia has collaborated with Roger Spottiswood, Julie Costanzo, HBO, CNN, MTV, and the New York Times. She created, directed, and produced five sessions of a critically acclaimed prime-time TV series (mix of documentary and cooking show) for Globo Channel, the biggest Network in Latin America. Produced and Directed an authorial project that conveyed the importance of education to poor communities in Brazil, subsequently earned more than 20 awards worldwide, including the Best Short Doc produced in Brazil in 2019 by the Brazilian Film Academy, an Oscar-recognized Award.
PRESENTE! is her first feature documentary. Sponsored by WMM, the project has the official support of Sundance, Women in Film, Points North, Latinx Media Market, AXS Film Fund, and NYSCA.
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