Divine Divas

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Brazil | 2016 | 110 minutes | Leandra Leal

Part personal history and part musical revue, director Leandra Leal takes us backstage at the 50th anniversary of a lively octet of Brazilian drag performers, exploring the lives and careers of these pioneers who boldly challenged the conservatism of the 1960s.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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Long before making a name as an actress throughout Brazil, director Leandra Leal enjoyed the kind of early life most of us could only dream of. As the granddaughter of famed producer and theater owner Americo Leal, the future star made her childhood home backstage and in the dressing rooms of Rio de Janeiro's Rival Theater, among the first theaters to welcome cross-dressing performers more than 50 years ago. Discovering later that her beloved theater was a cherished safe haven for drag performers in a repressive, intolerant society, Leal was moved to create this loving tribute to the divas who shaped her childhood as they prepare for one final performance. From demure and beguiling Camille K, whose appearances in public caused riots, and the glamorous Valeria, who learned her craft from the most infamous Parisian showgirls and whose show-stopping rendition of "My Way" will make you break out the handkerchief, to outspoken Eloina Dos Leopardos, fully committed to being a woman from an early age, and multitalented Marquesa, born into privilege and living life as a man but for the stage, the Rival's legendary divas share life stories filled with humor and heartbreak, sadness and strength. Using rich archival clips mixed with backstage footage and rollicking interviews, Divine Divas, the Audience Award winner at both Rio 2016 and this year's SXSW Film Festival, is a director's poignant and unforgettable return to the arms of the divas who raised her.

Director Biography

Leandra Leal is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Brazilian actress who has acted in more than 25 feature films, 12 soap operas and six theater plays. She started her acting career at the age of thirteen when she starred Walter Lima Jr.'s 1997 film The Oyster and the Wind, for which she won the Best Actress award at the Biarritz Festival in France. Since then she has won several awards. Divine Divas is her feature directorial debut.

Sponsored by KCTS Television, Pacific Publishing Company

  • Director: Leandra Leal
  • Principal Cast: Brigitte de Búzios Marquesa, Jane Di Castro, Camille K, Fujika de Halliday, Rogéria, Divina Valéria, Eloína dos Leopardos
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Brazil
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Producer: Carol Benjamin, Leandra Leal, Natara Ney, Rita Toledo
  • Screenplay: Carol Benjamin, Leandra Leal, Lucas Paraizo, Natara Ney
  • Cinematographers: David Pacheco
  • Editors: Natara Ney
  • Music: Plinio Profeta
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: SXSW 2017 (SXSW Audience Award, Global); Rio Film Festival 2016 (Audience Award)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP