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ISLAMABAD, Feb 25: The mood was enthusiastic in the Brazilian embassy on the first day of the Brazilian Film Festival which began here on Saturday and will continue till March 4.

First of its kind to be organised by the Brazilian embassy, the festival has gotten a good response from Islooites who were present in ample numbers at the first film showing.

Like many embassy events that manage to attract people from a diverse range of nationalities, this event too was a multicultural gala as people from many different countries were present.

“Pakistanis don't know much about Brazil beyond football and some other things and we wanted to showcase our culture for them through this festival,” explained Thomaz Mayer, first secretary at the embassy.

He said, “It is sad that something like this has not happened before.” The credit for organising this goes to Alfredo Leoni, Brazilian Ambassador to Pakistan, according to Ahsan-ul-Haq Khan. Khan is the president of an association that strives to develop relations between Pakistanis and Brazilians and was adamant that “Mr. Leoni is the most dynamic ambassador Islamabad has seen in a long time.”

But beyond the cultural exchange aspect, the festival was also meant as a pleasant activity for Islooites. “There are no regular movie theaters in Islamabad so we want to offer people something interesting,” explained Mr. Mayer.

At the half hour coffee and meet and greet session before the movie screening, the lobby of the Embassy got filled quickly as people trickled in for the movie. On the first day of the festival, the cozy, self-stylized auditorium was almost filled to capacity showing the eagerness of the present people to be given a chance to watch a good movie. Black Orpheus

And the movie for today did not disappoint. Titled , the movie is a multiple award winning 1959 production in Portuguese (screening had English subtitles). Filmed in the context of a festive carnival in Rio de Janeiro, from the beginning the film shows the colourful, bright spirit of this aspect of Brazilian culture.

Music, dancing and laughter pervade the scenes as the story unfolds and the viewers get a solid dose of the festive spirit of Brazilian culture even as the story turns tragic later as a violent love triangle develops. Blindness The Motorcycle Diaries Behind the Sun

Having set a good tone for the festival, eight more movie gems will be screened from now on everyday. Renowned movies like , and are some of the films to look forward to.

The festival is open to all and only reservations need to be made ahead of time to become part of this multicultural initiative.