Meirelles sets his sights on UK

Director of City of God, Fernando Meirelles talks to Jungle about his new project on these shores.

“In no rush”. That’s how one of the most famous Brasilian directors said he goes about his projects. In London to participate in an event sponsored by HSBC, Fernando Meirelles made the most of his visit to meet local producers.

“I’m finalising the negotiations to direct 360˚, a film about our sexual appetite, about people who strive the highest in their professions, those who’d do anything to get to the top. It’s an adult theme, but that seems inherent to human beings”.

This will be the director’s second work to be related to the United Kingdom (The Constant Gardner (2005), being the first). With a script by Peter Morgan, of the acclaimed The Queen (BAFTA for Best Film 2006), the film will be a partnership between England, Austria and the USA.

Meirelles believes co-productions are the key to project Brasilian filmmakers and technicians. “Outside Brasil there’s no perception of Brasilian cinema”. For him, language is one of the biggest obstacles. That’s the very reason, so as not to limit the audience of his last production, Blindness, Meirelles decided to take his adaptation of the romance by the Portuguese writer José Saramago to the screen in English.

When the subject turns to digital technologies, the director seems ready to jump in with both feet. “It’s quite possible I’ll shoot the next film in digital. I think it’s something that it doesn’t help to be for or against; soon enough no one will be using film”. And then he adds: “I find this wave of films in 3D interesting, and I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of working on something in that format”.

Despite all these ideas, Meirelles is taking it slow and assures that he intends to end his career soon enough. “I think about retiring shortly, but before that I’d like to make my dream come true of filming Grande Sertão Veredas, the classic novel by Guimarães Rosa. It won’t be easy, but I imagine this kind of happening in a similar sort of style to that of Goddard”.

By Zaira Brilhante


JD would like to thank Canning House for making this interview possible. For more information about their cultural and corporate events simply visit

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