Sissel Morell Dargis
Denmark, 2024, 94 min


In the heart of Brazil's favelas, the director Dargis gains unprecedented access to the hidden world of the “balloon mafia.” For baloeiros in Rio and Sao Paolo, hot air balloon construction, flying and chasing is a treasured and competitive art form - as well as central to their sense of community and cultural heritage since colonial times. Now, authorities have made their art illegal, ranking them just below drug cartels in the law, and driving them underground. With police and bounty hunters hot on their heels, the director embarks on a wild ride to witness the extreme obsession and sacrifice required to build these spectacular balloons that reach over 70 meters high and that require over 100 people to launch into the sky. Intimate and explosive, ‘Balomania’ is a real-life action film about freedom against all odds that will challenge beliefs about favelas, gang life and the power of art.