The extraordinary debut of Juliana Antunes, who spent six months on the outskirts of Brazil's Belo Horizonte, a documentary about women from favelas ruled by the hard laws of men, was made almost entirely by women (direction, production, cinematography and sound). Andreia and Leid are neighbors: the former dreams of moving out of the slums, while the latter is waiting for her husband to get out of prison. They fill their days looking after their kids and doing repairs on their makeshift homes, while also finding time for dancing, manicures, drinking with friends or doing lines with Felipe from the neighborhood. Although there are endless problems with gang wars, torrential downpours and the sexual exploitation of minors there, the director doesn't turn her film into poverty porn. Baronesa is rather an intimate portrait of female friends in a challenging environment. Through close-up shots that bring out the beauty of the protagonists, Antunes shows their dignity and strength in overcoming difficulties, and their love of life shines through the screen-despite everything.
IFF Mar de Plata 2017 – Best Latin American Film, FIDMarseille 2017 – Audience Award, IFF Valdivia 2017 – Best Feature
Born in 1989, Juliana Antunes is a Brazilian producer and director. She completed her film studies in Belo Horizonte, after which she founded the Ventura production company together with Marcella Jacques and Laura Godoy. She worked as an assistant on João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa's acclaimed film Araby, which was screened at New Horizons last year. Uchoa was the editor for Antunes's debut film, Baronesa. Made over the course of four years, the documentary was a hit at film festivals in South America (Argentina's Mar de Plata, Brazil's Tirandetes and Chile's Valdivia) and in Europe (Marseille and Thessaloniki).