Interview with Filmmaker Marco Escrivão & Priscila Schmidt (ALLIANCE FOR ELDORADO)

ALLIANCE FOR ELDORADO was the winner of Best Direction at the January 2022 Black & White Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

This project starts from a story we’ve been wanting to tell for a long time, we were looking for the form and the connections with our times. The current Brazilian socio-political context gave us the connections we were looking for.

The most important, perhaps, is to understand that there is no definitive solution against “evil”, we need to always be alert and strong.

Added to this, the global context of the pandemic, which has taken us away from our processes and artistic
creations, throwing us in the dark about the possible paths for the realization of cinematographic projects.
From isolation, then, comes the idea of the form of our film, to tell this story with images painted by a visual artist (we invited Fabiana Wolf) to create the canvases. We understood that it was fundamental that the screens were not realistic, that they were not easy to be seen and understood, mirroring the reality in which we are immersed.
We invited the partners involved and we did everything in isolation, each one in their own home, exchanging ideas only in endless zoom meetings.

And then our Alliance for Eldorado was born.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

We started on April 20th and ended on June 21st.
Something around 1 year and 1 year and a half.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Defiant and necessary.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The impossibility of the physical encounter, of participating in the creation of visual works, in the creation of the soundtrack. We had the idea that soundtrack and images should be created simultaneously, affecting each other and finding new meanings, in a dialectical process.

But the pandemic has forced us to have a more fragmented process than we would like. First the script, then the screens, then editing, then soundtrack, etc…

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

First, we were euphoric. We hadn’t had the opportunity to listen to the audience, to know how the film reaches those on the other side.

And what would be the point of creating if we can’t have this exchange with the audience?

Afterwards, we were instigated by the content of the comments, very much in line with our desire to propose to the viewer the challenge of actively following this story, out of the comfort of catharsis.

You have to learn to look, so you can see.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

For Marco, at age 15, when the math teacher gave him the task of telling the story of Arquimedes de Saracura, the guy from “Eureka”, in a short film.

There, unpretentiously and accidentally, he discovered the symbolic and aesthetic power of speaking to the world, about the world. Since then, he has dedicated his life to cinema, he is a director, screenwriter, producer, has accumulated 7 films in his career as a filmmaker and some important awards such as Best Film by the Popular Jury at the Festival de Brasília, the Festival de Tiradentes and the Festival de Florianópolis (all Brazilian festivals), and now Best Direction by the Popular Jury of the Black&White Festival.

I, Priscila, am a theater artist. Actress, director, teacher. Theater has been looking for ways to survive the pandemic and these ways are constantly bumping into the audiovisual. This is the first film project on which I co-direct and it was with great joy that I received the Best Director award from the Popular Jury of the Black&White Festival.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

“Fight Club” and “A Dog’s Will”, a Brazilian film by Guel Arraes, with a screenplay adapted from the homonymous text by Ariano Suassuna, a brilliant Brazilian writer.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Pitching and Business Roundtable to publicize this and other projects.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Very good, intuitive and efficient

10. What is your favorite meal?

For real? Rice and beans, brazilian stylle.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Surely, next comes the making of the first feature film, The Tempest, a film that tells the story of a housewife and her husband waiting for the apocalyptic storm announced by a false Messiah who occupies an important position in local politics.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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