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Forbidden Wedding

Running time: 56 min. 2001
Produced and Directed by Flavia Fontes

(Brazil) World Premiere,
Magaret Mead Film Festival

FORBIDDEN WEDDING premiered on Sundance Channel on May 16th 2005 and was broadcast on 2006.

TV Barn's TV Picks for Monday,
May 16, 2005

"Compelling" - New York Post

Tonight's Best TV - Entertainment

"Meticulously presents both sides" - Associated Press

"Audience Award For Best Documentary" - Projections International Film Festival
"Honorable Mention" - Philadelphia International Film Festival
"Award Of Excellence" - Brasa Film Festival


Forbidden Wedding is the story of a man who is forbidden to get married by the Catholic Church in Brazil because he is sexually impotent. My passion is to produce films that tell deceptively small stories that have significance well beyond the frame of the camera. These stories are sometimes tragic, other times funny, and are often seen through the eyes of ordinary people in unusual circumstances. The documentary explores the relationship between an institution and its people, and the triumph of the human heart

"Engaging and thought-provoking with unwitting comic touches."
TimeOut London, November 2006

Hedir Antonio de Brito, a paraplegic from the age of 15, wants simply to marry Mara. They were preparing for the wedding; invitations had been mailed, and their marriage certificate applied for from the Roman Catholic Church. Then the shocking letter arrived from the local bishop denying their application. According to the Vatican¹s Canonic Law 1084, a man must be able to copulate in order to get married.

When I first read of the story in a small Brazilian newspaper in New York, I was shocked. Didn¹t the Church have more important things to do? Why were priests so concerned with peoples' sex lives? I had to capture this story. I found out that Hedir lived in a small town in southeast Brazil and within a few days I was on a courier flight to document his story. With my digital video camera in hand, I talked to the couple, their families, the townspeople, and the local priests. Many of them were afraid to speak their minds in the shadow of the Catholic Church, but speak they eventually did. Told entirely through their voices, the film unfolds into a gentle love story about human sexuality, the rights of the disabled, and faith in Brazil.

This video is available for rental $75 and sale $295 and also public screenings. Director is also available to discuss the film in public screenings. Contact: ffontes@earthlink.net

Forbidden Wedding (Casamento Proibido) é um documentário em vídeo que conta a história de um homem, paraplégico desde os 15 anos, que se apaixona  e resolve se  casar. Convites entregues e casamento na igreja marcado, eis que surge uma surpresa: o bispo que proíbe o enlace. Tudo por causa de uma lei da igreja católica, que exige que o homem tenha capacidade de manter relações sexuais para se casar. Um tratado sobre o amor, sexualidade, e a fé.

Boda prohibida

Esta noche se emite el documental titulado Forbidden Wedding, sobre la prohibición de casarse a un discapacitado por la Iglesia Católica Romana de Brasil.La cineasta Flavia Fontes, presenta la historia del parapléjico Hedir Antonio de Brito, quien a dos semanas de contraer matrimonio religioso con su novia Elzimar de Lourdes Serafim, en agosto de 1996, recibió una carta del obispo católico negándole su solicitud. Según el obispo, la Iglesia prohíbe casarse a cualquier persona impotente o que no puede tener relaciones sexuales. Con la esperanza de ser escuchado, De Brito mandó una carta al papa Juan Pablo II, pero nunca tuvo respuesta.


Projections International Film Festival
Brasa Film Festival
Festival Audiovisual de Discapacidad 
Film Festival "Assim Vivemos"  in Brazil
Festival Internacional De Cine De Cartagena
Latin Film Festival in London
Margaret Mead Film Festival

Parnu International Film Festival in Estonia
Picture this...Film Festival
Women in the Director's Chair International Film and Video Festival

Urbanworld Film Festival

Cinema Paradise
Festival De Cine De Derechos Humanos
Latin American Cinema Festival of New York
Latino Film Festival

London Disability Film Festival
Medienfest Zum Thema Behinderung
New York City 's Showplace of Independent Cinema

New York Latino International Film Festival

Pan African Film Festival

Parnu International Film Festival in Estonia

Philadelphia International Film Festival

Thessaloniki Doc Market