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Travel Film Scholarship - Rio 2013 - Shriya & Eeshit


BRAZIL | Saturday, 27 July 2013 | Views [3251]

As winners of the 2012 Travel Film Scholarship, we went on a 10-day assignment to Rio de Janeiro to film the Carnaval festivities. Check out what we got up to in Rio...

Today, we went to one of the most popular Bloco’s in Rio, Boitata. Buying a costume on the days of the carnival is next to impossible so I settled for a pinky shiny hat that I bought from a stall.

Unlike the parade at Santa Teresa, the vibe of this bloco is more like a rock concert with famous Brazilian musicians playing on the stage. Even within blocos, there is so much variety. No bloco experience is the same.  The costumes that I got to see in this bloco were even more fabulous. I looked like a complete creep staring at everybodys costumes in awe.

I felt much more ready to go and have more fun this time around. We went right up ahead close to the stage. Eeshit who confidently flashed his World Nomads tag, got to go right on top of the stage to film. He told me that being on the stage gave him a real picture of the enormity of this bloco where the sea of people had flooded every alley.

Watch our video of Carnival Part 2

While Eeshit and Brian were away filming, Chris’s phone got stolen. Eventhough I was standing right next to him, It was impossible to figure out who did it. It was almost like our trip was incomplete without something getting stolen. But on the bright side , Brian got a good shot of Chris looked extremely cute as the sad, grumpy man,  surrounded by happy, drunk people.

In the evening, we caught up with Gabriel, Filipe and Paula on Copacabana. Gabriel had come dressed as Bam Bam. We planned to go for another bloco but I just felt like spending the evening on the beach. And we did exactly that. It was wonderful getting to know my new Brazilian friends. After some caipirinhas, we all went mad and did some crazy things. They shared their thoughts about their culture and what the spirit of Carnaval really means to them. I appreciate the fact that irrespective of their age, Brazilians in generaly are so well versed with their history and speak of it with such pride.

Paula and I decided to exchange some dance moves. I taught her some Bollywood dance moves and she did Samba for me on the beach. Paula who makes her costumes every year, gifted me a beautiful feather hair clip. Filipe also had so much to share about his love for Samba. He said that for him, the sound of the drum is like a heartbeat. These guys don’t just love their music, they live their music.

Some people started jamming at our beach shacks which turned into an impromptu samba party.  I had never really danced like this without inhabititon. You simply can’t resist the music. Plus, I had one too many Caipirinhas.  Brazil has that kind of effect on you, that would even draw an introverted person like Eeshit out of his shell. The energy of the people opens you up in so many ways.  Looking at me enjoy the music and having fun doing my own version of Samba, convinced Gabriel that I had some brazilain blood in me.  This evening was made truly special by my new friends. It seemed like we all had known each other for a long time.

They wrote in my diary ,“Eu Sou Brasiliero, com muito orgulho com muito amor”

"I am Brazilian with so much pride, so much love”.

- Shriya Pilgaonkar & Eeshit Narain

Watch our video of Carnival Part 1

Watch our video of Carnival Part 2

Tags: assignment, brazil, carnaval, festival, film, filmmaking, opportunities, rio, travel, travel filmmaking

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