"Taken For Granted" debuts todat at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festiival (LABRFF) and brings a Brazilian perspective over the universal theme of disconnection in the modern world
Today, Sept. 9, at 5 pm, filmmaker Gabby Egito steps again on a red carpet in Hollywood. "Taken For Granted" is her fourth short film debuting since she got to the U.S. three years ago. The premiere takes place at the LAFS Theater, within the programming of the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival (LABRFF), where she won a Best LA Short prize last year.
“I feel very honored to participate of LABRFF for the third year in a row, always with a new movie. This event is a unique showcase not only to the productions that come from Brazil but specially to the Brazilians that make films in America,” says the director, who has already won four awards and received two nominations for her films from West to East Coast.
"Taken For Granted" is a psychological drama that traces the last day of the life of housewife Martha Michaels (German-born actress Ilka Urbach) through flashbacks and testimonials of people who knew her, mixing fiction and documentary-style format into the narrative. As the pieces of the puzzle are put together, dark secrets are revealed.
While fully spoken in English and starring an all-American cast, Gabby points out that the film in fact evokes a trait of Brazilian culture, which is to pursue living in the present moment, always nurturing and appreciating close-knit bonds. “It's my Brazilian perspective on the universal theme of superficiality and lack of connection between people in this busy world today. I wanted to talk about the transience of life and how far one can go in search for love and attention,” says the filmmaker.
Curiously enough, “to take someone for granted” is one of the most difficult English expressions to translate into Portuguese. “It’s hard for a Brazilian to wrap their mind around the full concept implied. It just seems like obnoxious behavior to us. We usually seek to give everyone attention and let people know how much we appreciate them,” says the filmmaker.
Therefore, the Portuguese version of the title, "Nada Além de Hoje" (Nothing But Today), focuses on the living here and now aspect. Watch the trailer here.
After the premiere, "Taken For Granted" runs the festival circuit in the U.S.. “We have Utah and New Jersey scheduled for October, the dates are being confirmed though,” says the director. She has also other movies on the road. The comedy "Shtarkers: Tough Guys", of which Gabby is associate producer and film editor, has just been screened this past Labor Day weekend at Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. And her most awarded movie, "Stuffed", participates in competitions in Hollywood and San Francisco until November.
Gabby arrived in California in 2010, coming from São Paulo, to study filmmaking on a merit-based scholarship at the New York Film Academy branch located at Universal Studios. Now with two award-winning shorts under her belt and over 20 international festivals participations, she is represented by Brent Travers, who also manages the careers of two of the most prominent Brazilian stars in U.S.: actor Wagner Moura (Elysium) and director Afonso Poyart (of the not-yet-released "Solace", starring Anthony Hopkins). Gabby is currently developing the scripts for her first feature film and a TV series as well.
The Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival, which actress and host Babi Xavier will emcee, started on Sunday, with the screening of the comedy "Buddies" at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Linwood Dunn Theater. The feature film is directed by Marcelo Galvão and tells the adventures of a trio of young friends with Down Syndrome (actors Ariel Goldenberg, Rita Pokk and Breno Viola). They steal a car and flee out of the institute where they live, hitting the road to pursue their dreams.
The competition includes five features, two documentaries and five short films made in Brazil, plus six other shorts made in the U.S., among which is Gabby Egito's. The sixth edition of the festival founded by the couple Meire Fernandes and Paulo Nazareno closes on Wednesday night (11), at LAFS theater, with the awards ceremony and U.S. debut of the comedy "Cine Holliúdy". The film, written and directed by Halder Gomes and starring Edmilson Filho, made to the top 10 box office since it got theatrically released in Brazil on early August, beating American movies like Smurfs 2 on the number of viewers per copy.
Film: Taken For Granted (Nada Além de Hoje, Brazil/USA, 2013, 11 min.)
Written, Produced, Directed and Edited by: Gabby Egito (Brazil)
Original Music by: Gabriel Dib (Brazil)
Cinematography by: Andras Balogh (Hungary)
Cast: Ilka Urbach, Michael Nicklin, Brenna Rhea, Terri Crawford and Michael McAdam.
Event: Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival
When: September 8-11
Where: Linwood Dunn Theater (8) and Los Angeles Film School Theater (9-11), both in Hollywood.
Tickets: $12 per session, except opening night ($75 the pass for all sessions and Opening Gala) and closing night ($30).
More info: www.labrff.com