Best Film Award at Brazil’s Gramado Festival goes to Buddies

Breno Viola, Rita Pokk and Ariel Goldenberg receiving the award. Rita cries.

Starring a trio of actors with Down syndrome, Buddies, by Marcelo Galvao, won the Kikito Prize of best film at the 40th edition of the most prestigious film festival in Brazil, the Gramado International Film Festival. The award ceremony was held on Saturday night (18) at the Palace of Festivals.

The road movie by Marcelo Galvao is a lesson of social inclusion. The journey of characters Stallone (Ariel Goldenberg), Annie (Rita Pokk) and Marcio (Breno Viola) pulled a lot of laughs from the audience in Rio Grande do Sul. The film was the most applauded during and after the session in the Palace of Festivals.

In the film, they live at an institution, working at the video library. Inspired by the movie Thelma and Louise, the trio steals a car, fleeing their limited surroundings in search of their dreams. Stallone wants to see the ocean, Annie needs to get married and Marcio hopes to fly. It is an ambitious production, full of memorable cinematic quotes.


Dressed up, the three actors flee the institution where they live driving a stolen car.


“I want to thank this team and Rita, Ariel and Breno. Our projection here was wonderful. The film was applauded several times on stage and there was a standing ovation at the end. This was the biggest prize for us,” Galvao spoke after receiving the Kikito from the hands of the director Arnaldo Jabor.

Besides best film, Buddies received the award for art direction and a special jury prize for the actors Ariel, Rita and Breno. Ariel and Rita are married in real life. On stage, the three wept and made an emotional speech: “We’re ‘Down’ to society, but before God we are normal,” Ariel said.

Just as his character does in the film, Breno drew laughter from the audience: “Winning the parakeet here is very rewarding” (the name of the award, Kikito, is similar to the word periquito, which means parakeet in Portuguese), he joked.

Buddies will open at cinemas in Brazil in November.

Click here for a preview with subtitles in English

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