Ariani Friedl Awarded Order of Rio Branco for MOSTRA Brazilian Film Festival

The 2023 edtion of Chicago's MOSTRA Film Festival runs from November 4-18. Click for details (screenshot of the MOSTRA Flim Festival website).

In Honor of Her Support Of Brazilian Culture In Chicago.

Ariani Friedl Awarded Order of Rio Branco: The founder of the MOSTRA Brazilian Film Festival leads it into its second decade.

This series was presented by the Consulate-General of Brazil in Chicago and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Department.

In celebration of Brazil’s Bicentennial year, 1822 – 2022

This week’s Brazilian Minute: Ariani Friedl Awarded Order of Rio Branco

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Chicago’s highly acclaimed MOSTRA Brazilian film festival returns for its 14th season, November 4th through November 18th.

MOSTRA is the largest Brazilian film festival in the Midwest, having expanded to other midwestern cities and also Sao Paulo.

MOSTRA presents Brazilian films “with a social conscience” featuring lively Q&A discussions with Brazil’s best and brightest directors, producers, and film critics.

MOSTRA’s founder, Brazilian Ariani Friedl, came to Chicago in the mid-60s to become a cross-cultural communications consultant. She served as Director of the John Nuveen Center for International Affairs at the University of Illinois-Chicago before establishing MOSTRA.

For her distinguished service to Brazilian culture, Ariani Friedl is the recipient of Brazil’s esteemed Order of Rio Branco. An award she shares with Gilberto Gil, Pele, and conductor Silvio Barbato.

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Ariani Friedl Awarded Order of Rio Branco
Ariani Friedl is the founder and Director of MOSTRA. She received Brazil’s Order of Rio Branco in March 2022.

Ariani Friedl Awarded Order of Rio Branco

Overview: Ariani A.G. Friedl, M.A. Biography

Ariani Friedl was born in Pôrto Alegre, RS, Brazil, where she graduated in music at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Friedl moved to Chicago almost 50 years ago. She received her master’s degree in Spanish and Hispanic Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Friedl established the John Nuveen Center for International Affairs at UIC. She directed the Center for almost 20 years before retiring. 

Friedl also served as Acting Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago. She worked at the International Division of the YMCA of the USA. She taught and worked as a translator and interpreter in Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Friedl belongs to several volunteer organizations. These include:

  • Illinois Chapter of Partners of the Americas
  • International Latino Cultural Center
  • Chicago Cinema
  • Council of Brazilian Citizens of the Midwest
  • Friendship Force
  • Grant Park Conservancy Advisory Board
  • Skyline Village
  • Y Service Clubs International

Ariani Friedl served on the board of directors of several of these organizations. She has held local, national, and international offices.

MOSTRA Brazilian Film Festival

Friedl was a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Chapter of Partners of the Americas when she founded the MOSTRA: Brazilian Film Festival in 2010, as its Director.

The purpose of the project is to bring Brazilian films “with a social conscience” to Chicago and the United States. She selects films that present aspects of Brazil that go beyond the stereotypes of samba, football, and carnival.

MOSTRA is now in its second decade. The annual festival presents films free of charge. Themes include Brazilian history, politics, culture, music, art, literature, environment, and social issues.

How To Attend

The festival is held in the most prestigious universities and other educational and cultural institutions in Chicago and other cities of the Midwest. Students, professors, and the general public engage in discussions with the invited filmmakers.

This year, post-pandemic, MOSTRA resumes its fully in-person festival. Several virtual presentations immediately follow the in-person experience on November 13, 14, and 15. Virtual showings are available to the entire United States, reaching an even greater audience.    

In 2015, Friedl took MOSTRA to São Paulo, through the partnership with its brother SP Chapter of Partners of the Americas. This project has grown to also include the brother chapters of Indiana and Rio Grande do Sul. 

In the United States MOSTRA has been recognized and has received support from the Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago, and Partners of the Americas in Washington DC.

MOSTRA is supported by prestigious universities in the Chicago area and other states in the Midwest, and by other cultural, educational, and business institutions.

In Brazil, MOSTRA is presented in São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. The project receives support from the SP and RS Chapters of Partners of the Americas, Uniibes Cultural, SPCine, Secretaria Especial de Cultura, Lei de Incentivo à Cultura, Ministério do Turismo, Gov RS, Cinemateca Paulo Amorim e IECINE-RS among others.

In March 2022 Ariani Friedl received the distinguished Condecoration Barão do Rio Branco. It was presented by the Consul General of Brazil, Ambassador Benoni Belli, on behalf of the Itamarati Office of the Brazilian Government.

The Order of Rio Branco

The Order of Rio Branco (Ordem de Rio Branco) is an esteemed accolade presented by the People of Brazil. It is administered by Brazil’s Ministry of Culture, Itamaraty.

Administration and Qualification

Qualifications for consideration of the award are based on meritorious service and civic virtues, stimulating the practice of actions and deeds worthy of honorable mention.

The Order of Rio Branco is an homage to José Paranhos, Baron of Rio Branco and a Brazilian diplomat. The Order was established by decree 51.697 on February 5, 1963.

This decree in part states: “The insignia of the Order is a four-arm, eight-point white enameled cross, having at the center the armillary sphere, in golden silver, in a blue enameled circle with the inscription “Ubique Patriae Memor” of the same metal. On the golden reverse are the dates 1845-1912.”

The Latin expression “Ubique Patriae Memor” is a poignant excerpt from Paranhos’s own bookplate.

In English, it translates as “Anywhere, I will always have the Nation in my memory”. The backside of the insignia is inscribed with the years of the Baron’s birth and passing.

The Order of Rio Branco is presented with two classifications, Ordinary and Supplementary.

The first classification is for current Brazilian diplomats. The second classification applies to retired diplomats and other Brazilian or foreign persons who may receive the honor.

Notably, nominees are considered the Council of the Order. The Council is headed by the President of the Republic as the Grand Master of the Order.

The current Minister of Foreign Affairs is the Chancellor of the Order with additional service representing both military and civil sectors.

The Secretary of the Order is the Chief of Protocol for Itamaraty.

Notable Recipients of the Order of Rio Branco include:

  • Saxophonist Sadao Watanabe
  • Guitarist Laurindo Almeida
  • Guitarist Charlie Byrd
  • Percussionist Airto Moreira
  • Singer Flora Purim
  • Singer Enrique V. Iglesias
  • Singer/songwriter and former Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil
  • Conductor Silvio Barbato
  • Harmonicist Toots Thielemans
  • Actor Peter Sutherland
  • Dancer Vladimir Vasiliev
  • Cafu
  • Pelé
  • MOSTRA Founder Ariani Friedl

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Ariani Friedl Awarded Order of Rio Branco

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Founder and Director Ariani Friedl welcomes Brazilian Film buffs to MOSTRA XI.