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Welcome to Brazil. Welcome to Rio de Janeiro.
Festival do Rio, Rio de Janeiro’s international film festival, warmly welcomes you to what is Brazil and South America’s largest film festival and audiovisual industry event.
The backdrop to the festival is the city of Rio de Janeiro, unquestionably one of the world’s most beautiful. A city surrounded by mountains and water that have dictated how Rio has spread and evolved since first being discovered by Europeans in the early 16th century. These explorers believed that they had discovered the mouth of a great river, hence the name River of January (Rio de Janeiro). The mouth of the river turned out to be Guanabara Bay, the bay the festival HQ overlooks.
Many of Rio´s attractions are global household names and include Corcovado Mountain, and its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer; Sugar Loaf Mountain; Copacabana and Ipanema beaches; and the Maracana Stadium, which first opened for the 1950 World Cup and will once again host World Cup games, including the final, when the tournament returns to Brazil in 2014. Maracana will also host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games when they are held in Rio. Then there are the many less visible attractions of Rio, these include bossa nova, samba, and many other musical forms, as well as during Festival do Rio and the rest of the year, the very best of Brazilian cinema and television.
FESTIVAL HOSPITALITY | WINDSOR ATLÂNTICA
Most of the festival’s official guests are staying at the Windsor Atlântica on the corner of Avenida Atlântica and Avenida Princesa Isabel. The hotel is located on Copacabana Beach and towers 39 floors above the beach, making it a landmark in its own right. Technically, the hotel is actually located on Leme Beach that is a natural extension of Copacabana Beach, yet an area that retains its own distinct village like characteristics.
Totally remodelled, refurbished and modernised, the Windsor Atlântica is Rio’s newest five star hotel and offers 545 guest rooms, making it one of the largest hotels in the city.
Festival guests will find plenty of options in terms of food and drink, both in the hotel and within a short walking distance of it. The hotel offers its guests a number of restaurants and bars, plus 24-hour room service that between them offer a wide range of flavours to tempt just about any palate.
The Windsor gives its guest the option of either the beach or the pool. The beach is just across the street where guests can take a dip in the sea off Copacabana or Leme, or stroll for a few minutes to the west and go to Ipanema. The Windsor Atlântica has a full beach service of sun loungers, parasols, towels and a member of staff to watch over belongings.
For those who prefer the pool, there are two options inside the hotel, located on the 4th and the 39th floor. There is also a sophisticated spa, with 600m2 of pure welfare and the best treatments, a beauty salon, Pilate’s studio, and fitness centre.
LEME AND RIO DE JANEIRO
Festival guests can take advantage of the village feel of Leme that is reflected by the shops and stores found in the street behind the hotel (Avenida Gustavo Sampaio). They include drug stores, dry-cleaners, shoe repairs, a post office (Correios), and even a supermarket (Zona Sul) which has its own pizzeria hidden inside.
Guests will find plenty of options in terms of food and drink both in the hotel and within a short walking distance. There are a number of beach bars close by in both directions, including two of Rio´s favourites; La Fiorentina and Sindicato do Chopp, both in Leme. Restaurants near by include Marius, one of Rio most famous barbecue houses (Marius also has a big seafood restaurant), the Italian Da Brambini, and in the road behind the hotel, Galeria 1618, São Sebastião Bistro and Shirley. Shirley is one of the city´s first and most famous Spanish and seafood restaurants, but be warned it does not accept credit cards, just cash.
For those looking for a late night snack, the legendary Cervantes, which is open until five in the morning, is located close by at Avenida Prado Junior, 355; that is the road that runs parallel to the west of Avenida Princesa Isabel. Cervantes sits three blocks back from the beach close to the corner with Rua Barata Ribeiro.
Copacabana, on which the Windsor Atlântica is located, is arguably the world’s most famous strip of sand that stretches for two miles (3.4km), down to the Sofitel Rio Hotel and the Copacabana Fort in the west (to the right as you look out over the ocean from the hotel). To the left (and east) Leme Beach spreads for a further half a mile (1 km).
Besides the Windsor Atlântica, other landmarks along the beach include the Copacabana Palace, a hotel that opened in 1923 and which was the backdrop to Thornton Freelands’ Flying Down to Rio with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Dolores del Rio. No festival guest should miss the opportunity of having a drink around the hotel’s famous pool. A hotel that has hosted more celebrities than virtually any other in the world.
For serious shopaholics attending the festival, the Rio Sul Shopping Centre (www.riosul.com.br), one of the largest in South America with over 400 stores, is just a short walk or a few minutes taxi ride away. The centre is also home to a number of restaurants and fast food outlets, as well a multiplex cinema. Another option is the fashionable and stylish Shopping Leblon (www.shoppingleblon.com.br), which is a ten-minute taxi ride away, beyond Ipanema.
GETTING AROUND IN RIO
Leme and Copacabana are well served by transport, but festival guests have a shuttle service throughout the day to take them between the hotel and the festival headquarters in the port area of downtown Rio de Janeiro. Taxis are cheap and plentiful in Rio and there is an excellent metro service that links many of the festival screening venues.
The nearest metro station to the Windsor Atlântica is Cardeal Arcoverde that is located two blocks back from the beach behind the Copacabana Palace on the corner of Rua Barata Ribeiro and Rua Rodolfo Dantas.
The metro (www.metrorio.com.br), which is open Monday to Saturday from 05.00 to 24.00 and Sunday from 07.00 to 23.00, is a fast and quick way to get to downtown Rio. The station in Cinelândia is next to the Odeon Petrobras where many of the festival’s main screenings, including Première Brasil, are located. The closest metro stations to the festival headquarters in Armazém da Utopia, but an awkward walk away, are Presidente Vargas and Central.
FESTIVAL HEADQUARTERS | ARMAZÉM UTOPIA [WAREHOUSE OF UTOPIA]
For the fourth year running the festival headquarters is based in the historic port area of downtown Rio, but for the first time the actual location is the Armazém da Utopia (Armazém 6 – Av. Rodrigues Alves, s/n – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ) an historic water front warehouse in the port region which overlooks the bay. Rio grew out of the downtown area and guests, who have the time, will be able to visit a number of the city and South America’s most historic buildings, churches, museums, cultural centres and galleries.
The city centre is also home to one of Rio´s hot nightspots, the Lapa district, which is close to Cinelândia and the Odeon Petrobras where the gala screenings of Première Brasil and other sections of the festival take place.
Cinelândia (Cinema Land) is named after the movie houses that were built there in the 1920s and 30s. The Odeon Petrobras, built in 1926, is the best surviving example of these. The square is also home to the city’s magnificent Municipal Theatre that dates from 1909 and has recently been totally renovated.
Even without Festival do Rio, there is always lots to see and enjoy in Rio de Janeiro, and guests will sense the growing anticipation for when the city will host the FIFA World Cup Final in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
Everyone in Rio and involved in the festival hopes that you will enjoy your time at the event and in Rio, and that you will have very many fond memories of the festival and the city to take away with you. Only then will you truly understand what Brazilians mean by “saudades”.
The Rio International Film Festival and its the international press centre is located for the duration of the festival at: Armazém da Utopia | Armazém 6 – Av. Rodrigues Alves, Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Press releases and stories for the festival web site and festival paper should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered to the international press centre at the Armazém da Utopia.
For press information or media accreditation, the international media should contact:
The PR Contact
Photographic coverage of the festival and its activities can be found at Flickr.
During the rest of the year Festival do Rio can be contacted at:
Festival do Rio | Rua Teresa Guimarães, 70 - Botafogo - Rio de Janeiro - 22280-050 - Brazil | Tel: (55-21) 3592 0434