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Interview Portuguese Spanish    
Year 6 - N° 264 - June 10, 2012 
Matão, São Paulo (Brasil)
Leonardo Rocha - l.rocha1989@gmail.com

Lucas de Pádua Mendes Gonçalves:

“The potential for using audio and video in the dissemination of Spiritism is huge”

The coordinator of the Festival of Spiritist Film and Video in the Brazilian city of Goiânia shares his thoughts on the growing number of pieces produced. With the help of the Internet, they have played a key role in the dissemination of the teachings

Lucas de Pádua Mendes Gonçalves (photo), from Goiânia, the capital of Brazil’s central Goiás state, is a broadcaster and journalist in charge of the Communications Department of the state’s Spiritist Federation. Born in a Spiritist family, he has been involved in a number of events, including video festivals in Brasília and Fortaleza. That is the main subject discussed in this interview: 

How did the idea of a festival of Spiritist cinema and video begin? 

It all began in 2009, when we held an event of Spiritist broadcasters in the state of Goiás. After watching the film Bezerra de Menezes, about the great Spiritist

benefactor, we got involved in a debate on whether “Spiritist cinema” is a gender or a theme. That was the first of a series of blockbusters in Brazilian cinemas based on Spiritist themes. The year after, we invited well-known film directors and producers, including Oceano Vieira, to join us for the exhibition of films and debates. We also discussed the potential offered by the Internet to help in the dissemination of Spiritism.  

How often do you hold the event? Does it always take place in Goiânia? 

Yes, always in Goiânia, in a public space as we have noticed that many people still feel awkward to go through the doors of a Spiritist Centre. The event is held annually at Cine Ouro, a well-know arts centre. The aim is to get the event into the arts calendar of the city. We try to get video and sound pieces with a Spiritist theme into the public eye. We noticed that many artists produced short films, documentaries, animations and video clips but lacked an event where they could show them and talk about them with other producers. In events like that, people learn, share experiences and form new partnerships. 

Is there a way of accessing the material through the Internet? 

Many of those videos are on the Internet. A good place to look is our YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/TvNAVE. We show about 20 videos during the festival. They are selected according to technical criteria, taking also into account the content of their Spiritist message. We are also engaged in projects in other cities of Goiás as well as other Brazilian states. 

Do you get sponsorship for the festival? 

Some companies are beginning to support us – mainly some restaurants and hotels. But the event is basically paid for by the Spiritist Federation of the State of Goiás. It is not an expensive event, as we make use of public areas and get in partnership with other organisations to minimise costs. The festival always takes place during a weekend. The fourth edition of the festival will be held on August 25th and 26th. On Saturday night, we will show a high profile film, the documentary As cartas psicografadas por Chico Xavier, by director Cristiana Grumbach (http://www.crisisprodutivas.com/ascartaspsicografadasporchicoxavier/). On Sunday, we will have workshops, debates and several meetings. The day will close with a Festival of Videos from various parts of the country. The quality of the material being produced with a Spiritist theme in Brazil is amazing. It is interesting to mention that a tradition has been created and groups are now producing original material for the festival, even though it doesn’t award prizes. 

What is your website and your contacts? 

Our website is http://nave.audiovisualespirita.org/ and we are developing a portal (http://portal.audiovisualespirita.org/) aimed at hosting sites of groups dedicated to the production of Spiritist films and videos. We need to join our efforts and find the best ways of different groups to cooperate with one another, in terms of joint production and distribution. The potential for using audio and video to help the dissemination is huge. Those resources allow us to reach many people simultaneously in different locations. That is a powerful tool to disseminate our Christian message.

What are the main challenges you face in the festival? 

The festival relies on the work of volunteers. I believe the main challenge is to conciliate our efforts to carry out all the other activities we have with the festival, which becomes bigger every year. And we must make sure we keep the same standards of quality. It is with great joy anyway that we serve Christ and help disseminate this message of light! The effort is paid off every year when we feel we have fulfilled our duty! 

What has been the impact of the event? 

We are gradually getting the support from the media and the increasing participation of non-Spiritists, which for us is very satisfying, as the event provides an opportunity to disseminate the teachings. There are more and more videos available and the quality of the material has been improving every year. We have learned at every edition of the festival and hope to be able to carry on bringing interesting themes to be discussed in productive debates that can have a real impact for those involved in the production of Spiritist material. 

Would you like to add anything to what you have said? 

Just to say that the event is organised by the Spiritist Federation of Goiás, FEEGO (http://feego.org.br) and NAVE, Núcleo de Audiovisual Espírita (Centre of Spiritist Audio and Video). NAVE is a group of people who work mostly in the media. We have a common interest and goal, which is the dissemination of Spiritism through the TV, the cinema and the Internet. Another NAVE group was set up in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, and we have encouraged people in other parts of the country to begin their own NAVE.





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