3 user 19 critic

Rio Breaks (2009)

RIO BREAKS is more than just a film about surfing. It follows the story of two best friends, Fabio and Naama, as they navigate their way between the pitfalls of life in the slums and the ... See full summary »


Justin Mitchell
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Fabio da Costa Fabio da Costa ... Self
Naama Martines de Uzeda Naama Martines de Uzeda ... Self
Bodie Olmos ... Narrator


RIO BREAKS is more than just a film about surfing. It follows the story of two best friends, Fabio and Naama, as they navigate their way between the pitfalls of life in the slums and the joys of surfing on their favorite beach. Their goal: to win the contest and become professional surfers. Thirteen-year-old Fabio and 12-year-old Naama live at Favela do Pavao, an enormous slum near Arpoador Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pavao is home to Commando Vermelho (CV), or Red Command, one of Rio's most heavily armed drug gangs. It's the Red Command who sets the rules and regulates life in the community. Their presence is ubiquitous, with armed soldiers constantly patrolling the hills and regulating the various points of sale. Fabio lives in an area of the favela called Vietnam, the poorest and most violent part of the slum. When the police come up looking for traffickers, that's where they look - and shoot - first. Raised by illiterate grandparents, he cannot read or write and is not going... Written by Justin Mitchell & Vince Medeiros

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A film about surfing and survival.




Did You Know?


Surfista de Pavão
Written by Marcelo Martins
Performed by Nego Moçambique
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User Reviews

Alternative to the White Dude Surfing in The Endless Summer
29 July 2018 | by lchadbou-326-26592See all my reviews

Rio Breaks is an interesting alternative,as a surfing documentary,to the more well known landmark entry,The Endless Summer.It doesn,t quite have the lyrical photography or the exoticism of the earlier work,which showed three lucky white dudes as they travelled around the globe in search of the perfect wave.Here we see two youths of color from Rio,s hilly slum area who escape getting involved in the drug trade that controls their neighborhoods,and instead spend most of their time on several beaches,one of the few places in a city of rich people and tourists that are open and accessible to the poor.One of the beaches in fact,Arpoador,has now become mainly a hang out for the less well off.The boys learn surfing from the older athletes in the hope of making something of themselves,winning a contest,getting a sponsorship.Instead of flying from beach to beach like the heroes of The Endless Summer,they take a bus between localbeaches.Director Justin Mitchell,s approach is fair and is also a contrast to the now badly dated ,patronizing comments about foreign cultures that now mar the otherwise still charming earlier film.

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Official Sites:

Official site




Portuguese | English

Release Date:

3 June 2011 (UK) See more »


Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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