About

MOSTRA (meaning “exhibit” in Portuguese)

is the largest Brazilian film festival in the midwest. Presented by the non-profit organization Partners of the Americas Illinois-Sao Paulo Chapter, the event’s motto is “Brazilian Films with Social Conscience.”

MOSTRA has as its venues many educational and cultural institutions in the greater Chicago area to foster conversations about social issues, culture, politics, history and the environment among the academic community, filmmakers, students and socially conscious individuals at large. MOSTRA is an annual event founded by Ariani Friedl in 2010.


Let’s show films with social themes

The original idea for MOSTRA: Brazilian Film Series began several years ago through a conversation with Ariani Friedl, founder and director of MOSTRA, and Brazilian filmmakers, who came to Chicago to present their films in festivals. Feeling the difficulty of Brazilian directors showing their films in venues other than festivals, Ms. Friedl, who is board member of Illinois chapter of Partners of the Americas and the Chicago International Latino Cultural Center, proposed to bring films with relevant social themes to universities in the Chicago area.

In 2009, the show began

In cooperation with Fabio Cruz and Sabrina Campos, board members of the Sao Paulo chapter of Partners of the Americas, a small selection of Brazilian short films was made, and presented at the student section of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. Ms. Friedl and Carolina Posse, professor from Columbia College Chicago, organized a seminar, which was presented for movie students by Fabio Cruz, at Columbia College, Facets Multimedia and the Illinois Arts Institute.

A partnership between Brazil and the U.S.

 After the seminar, Ariani Friedl and Fabio Cruz proposed to Illinois and Sao Paulo chapters of Partners and to Columbia College Chicago, the possibility of organizing the first MOSTRA: Brazilian Film Series, focusing on social issues, which would include feature, short, animation and documentary films. The project was accepted and the first MOSTRA was presented at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from October 7 – 10, 2010.

With the success of this first presentation, Ariani Friedl pursued the possibility of making MOSTRA an annual event of the Partners of the Americas. This proposal was accepted and MOSTRA II: Brazilian Film Series was presented at Columbia College, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Brazil in Chicago school from November 3 – 16, 2011.

7-year anniversary in 2016!

MOSTRA attendance increased dramatically and its third presentation, from November 6 – 17, 2012, counted on the presence of five Brazilian filmmakers. Moreover, the audience reached an average of 50 people per exhibition, and 150 guests at fundraising nights. In 2013, MOSTRA expanded to Indiana and practically doubled the number of attendees. The University of Illinois at Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, Jones College Preparation High School, and Chase Park – Park District were among the new venues.

In 2015, we introduce “Audience’s Favorite”, an award which is given to the film chosen by the public.

MOSTRA: Brazilian Film Series is brought to you by the Illinois and Sao Paulo chapters of Partners of the Americas, and relies on the support from the Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago, and the sponsorship of United Airlines and several other institutions, businesses and individuals.