From Indie Spirit “Someone to Watch” winner Alexandre Moratto brings a multi-awarded festival-favorite film “SOCRATES“. Opening in Los Angeles on August 9 and on DVD & VOD August 20, Socrates follows 15-year-old Socrates, who, after the death of his mother, finds himself living on the outskirts of São Paulo, attempting to navigate life outside the system, while facing mounting debt, forced eviction, and the threat of being relocated into a youth home. Despite it all, Socrates is determined to survive on his own terms amidst fraught conditions, all the while exploring his sexuality after sparking a steamy romance with a reckless older boy. From executive producer Fernando Meirelles (City Of God), and produced by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Goodbye Solo), Socrates is the debut feature from 29-year-old Brazilian-American filmmaker Alexandre Moratto. It is the first feature produced by the Querô Institute in Brazil where it was co-written, produced, and acted by at-risk teenagers from local low-income communities, with the support of UNICEF. “a Described as a “gritty, gut-wrenching drama… (Gary Kramer, SF Bay Times) that “imbues this unhappy slice of slum life with an energy and compassion that transcends mere miserabilism.” (Dennis Harvey, Variety), World Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, official selection at numerous festivals including Festival Mix Brasil (Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for lead actor Christian Mahleiros); Frameline43; BFI Flare; TIFF New Wave; Miami Film Festival (Jordan Ressler First Feature Award for Moratto).
Synopsis: After his mother’s sudden death, Socrates, a 15-year-old living on the margins of São Paulo’s coast, must survive on his own. As he faces isolation because of his sexuality, his search for a decent worthy life reaches a breaking point.
In 2009, I volunteered at the Querô Institute in Brazil — a UNICEF-supported non-profit that provides social inclusion to teenagers from low-income communities through the transformative power of filmmaking. The dedication of these young people to make a better life for themselves despite their unequal social status astounded me and inspired me to make films about people from underrepresented cultures and communities. SOCRATES is a film that revisits the people and places that helped shape me into the filmmaker I am today. The film is also very personal in its depiction of the death of Socrates’s mother, his struggle with grief, and his efforts to find acceptance as a gay teenager. The result is a film that is embedded in a unique time and place in Brazil but that also tells a universal story about the strength to live despite insurmountable hardship.
Alexandre Moratto : Director
Alexandre Moratto is a Brazilian-American filmmaker. His award-winning short films Nowhere to be Found, The Parting, and The Other Side have screened at numerous international film festivals. He was a Film Independent Directing Lab Fellow and an NC Arts Council Artist Fellow and had a project in the Sundance Creative Producing Labs. He received his BFA from the UNC School of the Arts where he was a Kenan Excellence full scholarship recipient and winner of the DGA Student Film Jury Award for his thesis. He resides in California and São Paulo.