Tuesday 3 May 2011

Rio Breaks

13-year-old Fabio and 12-year-old Naama live at Favela do Pavao, an enormous slum near Arpoador Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pavao is home to Commando Vermelho, or Red Command, one of Rio’s most heavily armed drug gangs, who rule the community. Their presence is ubiquitous, with gun-toting “soldiers”, mostly teenagers, patrolling the hills and shooting a warning every time a police car comes into sight.

Raised by illiterate grandparents, Fabio cannot read or write and rarely attends school. He is a prime candidate to become involved in Rio’s drug war. His best friend Naama lives nearby and although brought up on the streets he goes to school and wants to become a sporting champion.

Arpoador Beach is the birthplace of surfing in Brazil and holds some of the best waves in Rio. It’s where the favela kids go to surf to escape from the poverty and violence of the hills. Under the watchful eye of Rogerio, the Favela Surf Club offers a sense of community and belonging away from the hardship of everyday life. Surfing gives the kids a water-bound freedom and a hope that they can become the next world champion.

In Rio surfing can save your life. Can the boys win the next competition and escape a potentially grim future?
The film is directed by Justin Mitchell and hits cinemas on June 3, 2011.

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