Film director Eliciana Nascimento has returned to tell the story of Lilli a young Brazilian girl who has the gift of communicating with her ancestors. During a summer visit to rural Brazil she meets several Orishas (African gods) who give her a mission to help her accept her gift. She is taken on an adventure while being immersed in a yearly ceremony that honors two Orishas Yemanja and Oxala. The 20-minute short film was shot in Northeast Brazil which has a significant Afro-Brazilian culture deeply rooted in African religious traditions.
Director Eliciana Nascimento shared why she chose to create this piece:
“My interest in telling this story is to help preserve my ancestors’ traditions. Personal life experience informs its characters and theme as many elements of the film are pulled from my own childhood memories. As a native Brazilian living in a foreign country, I have developed an interest in Pan-African themes. I have noticed that the issues Afro-Brazilians face in Brazil are similar to those faced by African descendants here in the United States and in nations throughout the Americas. As a storyteller and social activist, my motivations around filmmaking are rooted in telling stories of people from the African Diaspora who have often been marginalized by societies and the mainstream film industry. My goal is to use cinema as a tool to reveal the beauty, culture and mythology of these people.”
More about this
Eliciana Nascimento is an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) candidate at San Francisco State University and launched a KickStarter in 2013 to produce this film. She has had great success and exceeded her goal of raising $30,000 on July 3, 2013. She is currently submitting the film to various festivals to bring ‘Summer of Gods’ to a wider audience.
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View photos from the film below:
Share your thoughts on ‘Summer of the Gods,’ can you relate?