2008 Finalist Projects

Comunidade Film

Oficinas Querô - Brazil

Young people in the slums of Santos have a shot at a better future thanks to filmmaker Carlos Cortez and his Oficinas Querô film academy.

Oficinas Querô has its roots in a filmmaker's search for young actors among the slum-dwellers of Santos. Carlos Cortez was struck by the positive effect that the production experience had on his young cast. Carlos resolved to make this life-changing experience available to more young people. He teamed up with UNICEF to create a formal education programme for 40 students at a time.

Over the course of a year, the students are expected to write, finance and produce three short feature films. The experience immerses them in the techniques of filmmaking, with top professionals from the Brazilian film industry available for help and advice. The films are publicly screened at the end of the course.

Several students have gone on to forge professional careers in Brazil's TV and film industries. But the aim of the course is designed not so much to find the next Walter Salles as to use the power of cinema to put young people on the right course. As Carlos explains, "The students are learning not only to deal with the tools for audio and visual production, but also teamwork and reflecting on their realities. They are preparing themselves to achieve things."

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