Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Q&A: The Upstart Brazilian Filmmakers With a Growing Pile of Awards

AQ spoke to a founder of Filmes de Plástico, whose films tell overlooked stories about everyday life in Brazil.
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This article is adapted from AQ’s special report on A (Relatively) Bullish Case for Latin America

AQ: Where does the name Filmes de Plástico come from?

Thiago Macêdo Correia: André Novais Oliveira and Gabriel Martins (directors and co-founders of the group) met in a technical school for cinema. One day Gabriel decided to make a short in his parents’ house over a weekend with his closest friends. A plastic whale was used as a prop. After Gabriel finished the film, he and (co-founder) Maurílio Martins named the collective after the toy—it’s still our logo. We started to make some noise on the festival scene in Brazil and the company started to grow. A lot of critics throughout the years have noted “It’s very interesting that a company that is called Filmes de Plástico makes such naturalistic films!”

AQ: How have your own lives and experiences shaped Filmes de Plástico’s work?

TMC: We are all from the same industrial town in the outskirts of Belo Horizonte. It’s impossible for us to detach from our backgrounds, and we’ve never made a film that we’re not interested in. Low-income areas were being shown in cinema always from an outsider perspective. And we could do something different. We had an inside perspective, which helped the films seem legitimate, and not artificial.

AQ: How, if at all, has recent critical acclaim affected the production company?

TMC: There are more people who know us now and appreciate the films, and we have more social media followers. Some people compare Filmes de Plástico to A24 (the independent studio behind successes like Everything Everywhere All at Once). There is also a small group of people who think we sold out—but that’s only natural. None of us came from an “elite” of cinema. We now occupy a place that I know was not made for us—it was made for other, privileged people. But we’re happy to occupy our corner.

Quinn is a new energy reporter at International Business Times UK and a former editorial assistant at AQ

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Tags: Brazilian film, film review
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