ALTINHA

A DOCUMENTARY
ABOUT KEEPING IT UP

No winner, no loser.
A peaceful fight against gravity.
A fascinating ballet at the edge of the ocean.

After a three-month solo trip through South America, a Brazilian friend introduced me to altinha and I became fascinated with the obsession and passion that the players have for something that could easily be mistaken for a children’s game.

Altinha is a beach game born during the 60's in the sands of Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Practiced by the seaside by at least two people, the aim is simply to prevent a soccer ball from touching the ground by keeping it as high up in the air possible, which is also the origin of the name ("alto" means "high" in Portuguese).

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TITLE: Altinha
MY ROLE: Director / Camera / Editor

TIME OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRED: 13 Min
KEYWORDS: #Documentary #Brazil #Culture #Optimism


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Despite it's only requirement is a soccer ball, the game has little to do with soccer itself.  The participants play for each other and against nobody. "No hands" is the only rule. No winner, no loser. Atlinha is a peaceful fight against gravity, a fascinating ballet at the edge of the ocean.

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SANTANA (RIGHT) DURING A NORMAL DAY AT POSTO 9 OF IPANEMA BEACH ©superjeanmarc

At the time of shooting this film, I barely spoke Portuguese, so with a mix of Spanish and English, I managed to get myself understood by the local community.

Yet, when it came to understand the people that I was interviewing, it was another story...

IPANEMA BEACH AT SUNSET PROVIDES THE MOST PICTURESQUE SCENERY FOR ALTINHA PLAYERS AND SPECTATORS. 

"To get over my fear to approach unknown people in a language I did not dominate, 
I would often first get myself a few caipirinhas
at the local beach vendors"

The 3 first days, I mostly spent time observing and barely took my camera out of my bag. I started to notice the same people coming back and the same rituals happening all over again. Altinha was definitly a micro-culture itself. 

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ALTINHA MADE IT TO 7 INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVALS

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You don't need fancy gear
I guess one of the take-aways of this project is that you really don'y need  fancy equipment to make a film if your really want to.  I shot on a second hand Lumix GH4 camera. This bag contains all the gear I used for this film. As "self-shooter", the ultra light set-up was absolutely key.  

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You don't need a big crew
Although I'm not sure I would recommend to shoot a film entirely on your own, Altinha's seven official selections in international film festivals has proven that you don't necessarily need a bit team to be recognized. (This is my only behind-the-scenes picture).

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The film poster features a photograph I took of Marcio playing Altinha on Ipanema beach. He and his partner are staring at the ball, frozen in the air, magically hidding the sun like a solar eclipse. 

CREDITS

A film by
SUPERJEANMARC

Image & Editing by
JEAN-MARC JOSEPH

Music by
SIMON PYKE - FREEFARM

Aerial Photography
BARNEY LANKESTER-OWEN

Original Idea
ANDRÉ ZUKA

With the support of
AMB. BERNARD QUINTIN


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Phone: +34 679 75 56 40
Email: jm@superjeanmarc.com