Alumna Jasmin Freitas Tenucci '20 Wins Best Director at 2021 Rio De Janeiro Short Film Festival

BY Felix van Kann, December 1, 2021

Alumna Jasmin Freitas Tenucci '20 has been named Best Director at the Rio De Janeiro short film festival for her thesis film August Sky. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it received a Special Jury Mention. It was produced by alumnus Kári Úlfsson '20, co-written by alumnus Saim Sadiq '19, and edited by Fernanda Frotté '17 and Brúsi Ólason '20.


The short film follows a heavily pregnant nurse in Sao Paulo whose rising levels of anxiety result in a magnetic attraction to a Pentecostal church member as the Amazon burns for the seventeenth day.


Jasmin Freitas Tenucci is a writer and director known for Tempero Secreto, Look Out For Cows, and Descompasso. She co-produced the short film Darling (directed by Saim Sadiq), which won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film at the 76th Annual Venice International Film Festival. 


Kari Úlfsson is an independent film producer currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland. Úlfsson recently graduated with a Film MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University in New York with a focus on marketing, distribution and development. Growing up in the environmental sciences and having priorly worked as a park ranger, he longs to combine these two fields—film and nature. 

Saim Sadiq is a Pakistani filmmaker. His short film Nice Talking to You was an official selection at South by Southwest 2019, Palm Springs International Shortfest 2019 and won Vimeo’s Best Director award at Columbia University Film Festival 2018. The film also made the BAFTA Shortlist for Best Student Film. A recipient of the Kodak Student Scholarship Gold Award, Sadiq is developing a pilot for MakeReady in Los Angeles and working on his first feature, Gulaab, which was selected for the Open Doors Hub at the 2018 Locarno Film Festival.


Fernanda Frotté is a screenwriter and film editor currently based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she works as a screenwriter for Rede Globo. Before pursuing her MFA in Film at Columbia University, Frotté earned a BA in Social Communications and Film Studies from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. She has directed two short films: Out There (2016) and May This Memory (2018). She also served as the co-writer of Refuge (directed by Federico Spiazzi '18), which had its world premiere at the Montclair Film Festival in May 2019.


Brúsi Ólason is an Icelandic director, screenwriter, and editor based in New York. Ólason grew up on a farm just outside of the town of Selfoss in the south of Iceland. Before moving to New York, Ólason worked at the Icelandic National Theatre. In 2017, he founded the production company Kvarki Films with Kari Ulfsson. He has directed five short films and his film Victoria showed at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018.  


The Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival is dedicated to the promotion and exhibition of short-length audiovisual works. The festival screens films produced in digital format, with a maximum length of 30 minutes. The 2021 edition of the Festival was made up of an International Competition, National Competition, Latin-American Panorama, and Special Programs.