International Competition


Petra Costa
Screening time  
25.02. / Monday, 18:00 - 20:00 Theatre 2  
27.02. / Wednesday, 14:00 - 16:00 Theatre 5  
01.03. / Friday, 21:00 - 23:00 Theatre 3  
03.03. / Sunday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 5  
Elena moves to New York with the dream of becoming a movie actress, leaving behind Petra, her 7-year-old sister. Years later, Petra goes to New York in search of Elena.

Elena, a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with the same dream as her mother, to become a movie actress. She leaves behind her childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She also leaves Petra, her seven-year-old sister. Two decades later, Petra also becomes an actress and goes to New York in search of Elena. She only has a few clues about her: home movies, newspaper clippings, a diary and letters. At any moment Petra hopes to find Elena walking in the streets in a silk blouse. Gradually, the features of the two sisters are confused; we no longer know one from the other. When Petra finally finds Elena in an unexpected place, she has to learn to let her go.


Petra Costa

Petra Costa is a Brazilian filmmaker and actress. She completed her undergraduate studies Summa Cum Laude in Anthropology and Theater at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. From the age of 15, she has been working professionally as an actress. Before Elena, Petra directed and produced the short film Undertow Eyes which was selected and screened in over a dozen international festivals and took top prizes at nine, including best short film at Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, best short documentary at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (Austin, Texas) and the special jury award at Gramado Film Festival.

General sponsor


2012, 82', video

Directed by:
Petra Costa

Screenplay by:
Petra Costa, Carolina Ziskind

Janice d'Avila, Will Etchebehere, Miguel Vassy

Edited by:
Marilia Moraes, Tina Baz

Fil Pinheiro

Petra Costa

Produced by:
Busca Vida Filmes

Festivals & Awards:

Brasília Festival of Brazilian Cinema – Best Documentary, Best Direction in Documentary Category, Best Editing in Documentary Category, Best Art Direction in Documentary Category, Best Film for the Audience in Documentary Category; IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2012; Mostra de São Paulo Film Festival 2012