quinta-feira, 24 de junho de 2010


WALACHAI is a little village of German origins located in the south of Brazil, and which seems to belong to a different time in history, so far away from the globalized world. The documentary which conception, screenplay and direction were by Rejane Zilles, presents us with the daily lives of this community and its neighboring villages of very particular names such as Jammerthal, Frankenthal and Batatenthal. Their inhabitants are simple peasants who have consistent humane values and live a fulfilling life within their simplicity. They manage to keep away from consumption mechanisms of our modern times. They communicate through an old German dialect nearly two hundred years old, nevertheless, little do they know about the Germany they descend from. They are all Brazilians e see themselves as such.

Places with their very own culture, having preserved till this day and age their landscape, architecture and a language which are onto be modified by their latest generations of descendents. As time goes by, this lifestyle will be transformed and it all tends to fall into oblivion. However, at this very moment in time, it is all alive, with its characters walking by the streets and talking about their accomplishments and their feelings towards the advances of the world.


REJANE ZILLES is an actress, director and producer. Currently living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was born and spent her childhood in Walachai. Just like most children, she only learnt Portuguese when started school at the age of seven. She is the gateway to the villages which reveal themselves to be more than just their geographic horizons. She has maintained her dialect and family ties with the place, allowing her to have a very unique and special view on the subject. When filming, she documents an insider-outsider perspective on her village and the time gone by.

She has been the curator for cinema festivals a has produced the launching of renowned Brazilian films, Central do Brasil – by Walter Salles, for instance.
In the theater she is working on the preparation of a play about the German diva Marlene Dietrich.


2008 and 2009
Production, Screenplay and Direction of the film Walachai – documentary about
Communities of German origins located in the south of Brazil.

2005/ 2006
Production and Direction of the short film The book of Walachai – project selected by Petrobras Cultural Program.


Cultural resistance is a way of being in the rural community of Walachai. Natives freely speak an ancient dialect from the German region of Hunsrück. As of today, that is their mother language. Handed down orally, from generation until next, it has not been renewed, apart from the words created by locals.

Each time I would tell my personal story – that of a little girl born and raised there until childhood without any knowledge of Portuguese – I felt the chill and curiosity of who would be listening.

Thus was born the idea of documenting through film the uniqueness of the place, from the perspective of who knows its two radically different dimensions – from the inside and from the outside. I felt there was a good story to be retold by someone from within the local sphere.

In 2004 I started investigating in the Hunsrück region in Germany. Five years have gone by and the film is ready. The documentary Walachai is not only about a German community. It is above all about the unusual and weird that inhabit this time-forgotten place.

In a few years this lifestyle will probably change and this memory will wane. But now everything is well alive, with its characters walking down its streets, telling their deed and surprise as the surrounding world changes.


WALACHAI is the continuity of the short film THE BOOK OF WALACHAI, also directed by Rejane Zilles. The short film portrays the story of the peasant and teacher Benno Wendling – who wrote a whole book by hand, recording the history of the community. THE BOOK OF WALACHAI was exhibited at important Brazilian and international festivals, always welcome by both audiences and the press.


WALACHAI was recorded on digital media (HDV), and it is 85-minute long. The documentary was captured from March to April 2008 in Rio Grande do Sul, in different location of different communities of Morro Reuter, namely Walachai, Jammerthal, Batatenthal, Padre Eterno, Frankenthal. During this period approximately 40 hours of interviews and images were captured. Production and filming were carried out in Rio Grande do Sul and post-production and finalization in Rio de Janeiro in 2009.


WALACHAI, Documentary, 85 min, 2009
Direction and screenplay: Rejane Zilles
Production: Aletéia Selonk and Rejane Zilles
Executive Production: Aletéia Selonk and Graziella Ferst
Photo Direction: Juliano Lopes
Editing: Daniela Ramalho
Direct sound: Cleber Neutzling
Sound Editing and Mixing: Aurélio Dias
Original Sound Track: Felipe Radicetti

Co-Production: Traquitana Filmes e Artesanato Digital
Realization: Zilles Produções and Okna Produções


The launching strategy of the film WALACHAI start by with windows of exhibition in both national and international film festivals. In Brazil the film was selected for the 33º Sao Paulo International Film Festival and at Mercosur Audiovisual Festival (FAM), in Florianopolis. It has recently been showed in Uruguay to the students of Universidad ORT, Montevideo.

The commercial launching of the film in Brazilian theaters is to happen in the first semester of 2011. Simultaneously, the aim is distribution and commercialization in the Brazilian market, alongside other products currently being prepared.


WALACHAI – DOCUMENTARY for festivals and cinema theaters
Digital format
85 min
Subtitles in Portuguese, English, Spanish and German

Digital format
52 min
Production on going

Digital format
In preparation



The company does film production, coordination of exhibition projects for cinema, film festival production and audiovisual festivals. Contracted by MPC & Associados, was one of the companies responsible for the implementation of the projects Cinema Br em Movimento and Imagens Brasil Telecom – of exhibition of Brazilian films in alternative spaces across Brazil.

Since 2005, it has produced Muestra de Cine de BrasilNoar – annual festival of short Brazilian films in Barcelona. Since 2004, MIMO DE CINEMA em Olinda/Pernambuco which exhibits films with themes related to music, is produced by the company.

In the cinema, it has produced the short film The Book of Walachai and the documentary Walachai.


Okna Productions is a bureau of cultural and audiovisual production. The company not only develops its own projects, but also establishes partnerships in which it contribute with production and executive production. Currently it has realized audiovisual projects for cinema and TV, among documentaries and fiction films of short, medium and feature length aiming at fomenting the growth of audiences of independent productions.