Bela Época (Beautiful Era) is the name given to the earliest period of Brazilian films. Ejumpcut notes
"Cinema reached Brazil within six months after Lumière revealed his cinématographe in Paris in late 1895. The first screening of what was called the "omnigraph" was held in Rio de Janeiro on July 8, 1896.
Italo-Brazilian Affonso Segreto introduced the first filmmaking equipment in 1898. During the next few years, he filmed public ceremonies, festivals, Presidential outings, and other local scenes and events. Although initially greeted with fascinated amazement, cinematic spectacle did not become a widespread and stable form of entertainment until several years later. . . . When energy was industrialized in Rio de Janeiro in 1901, exhibition halls proliferated like mushrooms. Brazilian exhibitors resolved to make their own films on national topics to supply these halls."
From 1900 to 1912, the Brazilian film industry began to develop. FilmReference.com states
"In this period . . . Brazilian films dominated the domestic market, and documentaries and newsreels constituted the most important filmic productions. Fiction films were realized according to the established genres of comedy, melodrama, and historical drama, generally adaptations of literary classics, as well as carnival and satirical musicals, which followed the popular traditions of the circus and the vaudeville of the nineteenth century."The first Brazilian feature film was Antônio Leal's Os estranguladores (The Stranglers, 1908). The first Brazilian comedy was Júlio Ferrez's Nhô Anastácio chegou de viagem (Mr. Anastácio Has Arrived from His Travels, 1908).