: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


A film about ancestry, spirituality and an encounter with origins. An ethnographic account of the cultural exchange between Brazil and Africa told from the life trajectories of 4 Brazilian women who went through and initiation ritual in the African religion, in southwest Africa.


ODU is an odyssey that crosses sacred and remote territories in Brazil and Africa and tells the story about 4 Brazilian women initiated in one of the most ancient African religions in the world, Ifá. A rapprochement with ancestry, ties and origins to demystify history, in order to spread cultural knowledge and religious tolerance through real lives that were often driven by a determining factor: destiny.


My work as a documentarist has a long trajectory, it begans with my career as a photographer 15 years ago when I started to travel around my country in search of real and remarkable stories so that I could dive in and get deeply involved. After a long period of just photographing, I came across a unique opportunity to tell the story of some characters from the LGBTQIA community in India. That was when I ventured into audiovisual and produced and directed my first documentary, called GOPI. This documentary won awards and was recognized internationally, from which I discovered my great passion: filmmaking. The documentary ODU came from my connection with the African-based religion that has existed for many years, I follow the religion and I feel a strong connection with it. My meeting with Babalaô Ivanir dos Santos one of the most important figures in the religion and a great activist, happened spontaneously during a march against racism that I was covering. I was immediately attracted to his figure and strongness and had an interest in meeting him, something told me that he had many things to teach. I had a meeting in his shed, he made read my destiny and we started a relationship of a lot of respect as a mentor and apprentice. One day he told me about his travels to Nigeria for the initiation of Brazilians in Ifá, i immediately knew that i should make a film about it. And that's when everything started. We went to Nigeria with a group of 12 people, 4 women to be initiated, me my director of photography and a sound technique. There were 20 intense days and many emotions, a deep contact with an ancestral culture and rituals. In addition to Nigeria also to Bahia, in Brazil to document the first terreiro where Ivanir had his first initiation in the religion. In Rio de Janeiro we spent 2 weeks with the girls who were iniciated in Nigeria, and after one year we shot their routines and how their lives are and all the changes that happened after one year and the very intense experience and connection back in Africa.


Viviane D'Avilla - director/ filmmaking/ producer

Viviane D’Avilla is a Brazilian born in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Graduated in Journalism, she directed her career and knowledge towards conceptual and documentary photography. She specialized in schools such as Visual Arts, at Parque Lage and also at the International Center of Photography, in New York. It has extensive conceptual work with gallery representations in New York and Italy. In 2017 he won the prize for best photography at the Florence Biennial, Italy. In 2017, D'Avilla shot her first documentary about an intersexual character in India, called GOPI. This film was an offshoot of her work as a documentary photographer and her debut as an audiovisual director. The film GOPI, which received international and masters awards and was also selected for the competitive festival at the Rio Festival and received the award for best documentary, in Bangalore, India. In 2019, Viviane started her newest authorial project ODU, an spiritual odyssey that documents very traditional ritual from the African religion and the iniciation of 4 western women into the religion. For Dona Rosa Filmes a brazilian production company Viviane also co-directs and is the cinematographer of the newest documentary about the singer Luiz Melodia. In the end of 2019 D'Avilla directed and produced her first narrative feature film called Perda (Absence)


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