Iremar works at the “Vaquejadas”, a rodeo in the North East of Brazil where two men on horseback try bring down a bull by grabbing its tail. It’s dusty and back-breaking work, but Iremar is a natural vaqueiro feeding, prepping and taking care of the bulls. Home is the truck used to transport the animals from show to show which he shares with his coworkers; Galega, an exotic dancer, truck driver and mother to her spirited and cheeky daughter Cacá, and Zé, his rotund compadre in the bull pen. Together they form a makeshift but close-knit family. But Brazil and the Northeast are changing and the region’s booming clothing industry has stirred new ambitions in Iremar. Swinging in his hammock in the back of the truck, his head is filled with dreams of pattern cutting, sequins and exquisite fabrics as he mentally assembles his latest sexy fashion designs...
- Special Orizzonti Jury Award - Venice IFF
- Honourable Mention (Platform) - Toronto IFF
- Film Critic Award - Filmfest Hamburg
- Best Fiction Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress (Alyne Santana) - Rio de Janeiro IFF
- Best Feature Film - Adelaide FF
- Best Film (Official Competition) - FICCI
- Special Mention - Festival des 3 Continents Nantes
- Special Mention, Magey Prize - FIC Guadalajara
- FIPRESCI Prize - Transilvania IFF
- Award for Artistic Bravery - Durban IFF
- Best Script, Best Cinematography - Fénix Film Awards
- Venice International Film Festival 2015
- Toronto International Film Festival 2015
- Zurich Film Festival 2015
- Haifa International Film Festival 2015
- Rio de Janeiro Int'l Film Festival 2015
- Viennale 2015
- International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016
- Cartagena International Film Festival 2016
- Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016
- Istanbul Film Festival 2016
- San Francisco International Film Festival 2016
- Transilvania International Film Festival 2016
- Helsinki IFF - Love & Anarchy 2016
- CineMart 2017
- Berlinale Co-Production Market 2017
- Juliano Cazarré
- Maeve Jinkings
- Aline Santana
- Carlos Pessoa
- Vinicíus de Oliveira
- Gabriel Mascaro
- Diego Garcia
- Fernando Epstein
- Eduardo Serrano
- Carlos Montenegro
- Otávio Santos
Amidst a recent wave of rapid economic growth, the film is an attempt to renovate the political and symbolic understanding of contemporary human relations in the Northeast of Brazil, where I grew up and have always lived. The “Vaquejada rodeo”—one of the largest agro-business events in Brazil—seems to provide a fitting allegory of the recent transformations affecting the region. Through the lives of characters trying to keep pace with a new scale of desires and aspirations, I want to explore colors and textures that demonstrate the contradictions of consumption and expanding notions of identity and gender. I hope that by embracing the lives of this group of vaqueiros, the cowhands who live on the road transporting bulls between “Vaquejadas” and working backstage at the event, NEON BULL throws new light on recent socio-economic and cultural changes. The film is a study of the body, light and the transformation of the human landscape.
- MEMENTO FILMS INTERNATIONAL
- MALBICHO CINE
A fascinating exploration of body and gender norms.
Mascaro’s film is an auspicious, original, and absorbing work that thrills with its look into this little-seen world and the dreamers that inhabit it.
Dismantles preconceived notions of the northeast and its inhabitants while allowing the region’s distinctiveness to come through.
My interest in making films is crossing ethical borders, and how these ethical boundaries can be problematized within the film.
Gabriel Mascaro (1983) lives and works in Recife (Brazil). His work explores hybrid narratives employing intriguing apparatus (dispositifs) that provoke complex and controversial political and aesthetic encounters that reflect on the negotiation of power relationships in their most diverse forms. Spanning cinema and the visual arts, his work has been shown at the Contemporary Art Museums of Barcelona and Vigo, at La Casa Escendida - Madrid, the 32nd Panorama of Brazilian Art at MAM-SP, Videobrasil and at important film festivals, such as Rotterdam, CPHDox, Oberhausen, Visions du Réel, IDFA, Munich, Jihlava, Bafici, Los Angeles, Miami, Indielisboa, Zurich and Bratislava. His work has been reviewed in various magazines, including Variety (USA), Cahiers du Cinema (FRA) and E-Flux (USA). Mascaro participated in the Videobrasil/Videoformes Artist in Residence Program (FRA) where he developed a series of video installations and is in pre-production of his first feature fiction film with support from Hubert Bals Fund (Rotterdam) and Ibermedia. He is known for HOUSEMAIDS (2013) and AUGUST WINDS (2014). His film NEON BULL (2015), awarded at the Venice IFF and Toronto IFF among others, was the big winner at FICCI in the Official Competition in 2016. His film DIVINE LOVE (2019) premiered in Sundance Film Festival and was presented in Berlinale Panorama.