Vittorio Di Maio (lost films from Italian director; existence unconfirmed; 1897)

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Vittorio Di Maio.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

Vittorio Di Maio was an Italian pioneer in film exhibitions in Brazil. In 1897, he supposedly recorded films that years later were considered the first films produced in Brazil.[1]

On the 1st and 6th of May 1897, Vittorio Di Maio exhibited 21 films at the Teatro Cassino Fluminense. The exhibitions can be confirmed in advertisements in the newspaper "Gazeta de Petrópolis".[2] [3] These films were for a long time considered the first films produced in Brazil.


Di Maio could not have made these shorts, as he only worked with projection devices that are still unknown today, and it would have been extremely complicated for the time, because there was no cinematographic material available.

The researchers Paulo Roberto Ferreira and Jorge J.V. Capellaro, in the book "Verdades Sobre o Início do Cinema no Brasil" argue the short films exhibited in 1897 are Brazilian. The only evidence raised by the researchers is the fact that the titles of some films refer to places in Brazil, such as "Petrópolis" and "Polytheama".[4]

However, other researchers indicate that Di Maio changed the titles of foreign films to deceive the population of Petrópolis. Another thing that reinforces the theory is that Di Maio never mentioned or explained the screenings or the whereabouts of the films, even before he died in 1926.

List of Films

Of all the films, only 4 are defended as being Brazilian, which as:

  • Uma Artista Trabalhando no Trapézio do Polytheama
  • Chegada do Trem em Petrópolis
  • Bailado de Crianças no Colégio, no Andaraí
  • Ponto Terminal da Linha de Bondes de Botafogo, Vendo-se os Passageiros Subir e Descer
# Name Literal Translation Original Airdate
1 Uma Artista Trabalhando no Trapezio do Polytheama An Artist Working on the Polytheama Trapeze May 1, 1897
2 Uma Dama Preparando a Sua Toilette Para ir a Um Baile A Lady Preparing Her Toilet To Go To A Ball May 1, 1897
3 Uma Dança de Africanos A Dance of Africans May 1, 1897
4 Chegada do Trem em Petrópolis Arrival of the Train in Petrópolis May 1, 1897
5 Bailado de Creanças no Collegio, no Andarahy Children's Ballet at the College, in Andarahy May 1, 1897
6 Boulevard des Itahiens en Paris Boulevard of the Italians in Paris May 1, 1897
7 Escola de Patinação Skating School May 1, 1897
8 Saída do Pessoal de Uma Fabrica People Leaving a Factory May 1, 1897
9 Um Bailado, Tendo os Dançarinos na Mão um Chapéu de Sol A Ballet, with the Dancers Holding an Umbrella May 1, 1897
10 Um Almoço em Família A Family Lunch May 1, 1897
11 Um Circo de Cavalinhos A Horse Circus May 1, 1897
12 Desfilar das Tropas Francesas Parade of French Troops May 1, 1897
13 Praça da Concordia em Paris Concorde Square in Paris May 1, 1897
14 Um Professor de Violino, Lecionando as Suas Discipulas A Violin Teacher, Teaching His Disciples May 1, 1897
15 Saída de Devotos de Uma Igreja Departure of Devotees from a Church May 1, 1897
16 Lavadeiras (Lavando Roupa) Laundresses (Washing Clothes) May 1, 1897
17 Uma Serpentina (Bailarina) A Serpentine (Ballerina) May 1, 1897
18 Jogadores Surpreendidos pela Policia Players Surprised by the Police May 6, 1897
19 Ponto Terminal da Linha de Bondes de Botafogo, Vendo-se os Passageiros Subir e Descer Terminal Point of the Botafogo Tram Line, Seeing Passengers Getting On and Off May 6, 1897
20 Uma Decapitação Praticada pelos Inquisidores na Espanha A Decapitation Practiced by the Inquisitors in Spain May 6, 1897
21 Banhistas (No banho) Bathers (In the bath) May 6, 1897



See Also

Brazilian Films