Posted September 6, 2010 by Marcia Degia - Publisher in Features

Brazilian FF Interview

Paula Barreto, producer of Lula, The Son of Brazil discusses the struggles of the Brazilian film industry and making the film with her brother, director Fábio Barreto.

Paula Barreto, producer of Lula, The Son of Brazil discusses
the struggles of the Brazilian film industry and making the film with her brother,
director Fábio Barreto.

How did Rui Ricardo Dias come about for the role
of Lula?

Fabio was working with one guy for this role for months, and
a month before we were due to start filming he went crazy. He called us and
said “I can’t do this role I’m sorry.” He literally called us from the airport.
Fabio was desperate, we had spent six months with this guy and now he was gone. So I calmed him down and encouraged him to look again, and
that’s when we found Ricardo Ricardo Dias. The film just wouldn’t be without
him. He’s a new guy and this was his first movie but he filled the role well.

Lula, The Son Of Brazil filmDo you worry that the film comes across as more of a tribute
to Lula?

Some events such as him asking his second wife to have an abortion are
left out, as well as his ill favoured decisions made when he came into power. We decided to base this film on his rise to power, because
everybody knows about Lula after he came to power, but when we travel people
always ask who he actually is and we wanted to tell this story. One of the
writers, Denise Paraná who also wrote the novel gave the script to Lula, who
liked it but his mother asked us to remove anything about the abortion or she
would sue us.

How much interaction did you have with Lula?
The book is based upon Lula and his family so we mainly
based the film upon this version of events. I met him once the day before we
started shooting just to discuss the scene where he and his brothers witness
the killing of the worker and the factory manager but that was it.

Has the president seen the film?
He saw it once before the release of the film, and I think
he liked it? If he didn’t complain I think he liked it.

Has it been released in Brazil yet?
It was released on 1st January, [earlier] this year, and
we got in one million viewers. Unfortunately in Brazil the market is completely
dominated by American films so it’s always a fight to find a place for
Brazilian films.

Silvia Rabello and Paula Barreto Was it a marketing strategy to release the film at the time
of presidential election?

No, although I think it was a huge mistake to release the
film in January, not because of the elections but because of Avatar. It opened
in Brazil in December and we thought it wouldn’t be that well received. We
thought we would be Avatar. It was a big
challenge for us as makers of a Brazilian film.

Was Glòria Pires always considered for the role of Lula’s

From the beginning. I’ve seen her act from the age of
sixteen and we have a long story together [pauses to cry]. I’m sorry.

Do you think the international media will receive this
picture better than the Brazilian press has?

I hope they treat the film much better. I deeply hope so.
The number of times that I had to answer the same questions about fears that
this film would affect the elections. And I have to ask them how many people
will vote? And how many people have seen the film? Less than 1% But they still
didn’t run an interview or a feature. Nothing. And I didn’t make this film for
that. My conscience is cool. I just felt as a producer this was a good story to

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia has worked in the media industry for more than 10 years. She was previously Acting Managing Editor of Homes and Gardens magazine, Publishing Editor at Macmillan Publishers and Editor of Pride Magazine. Marcia, who has a Masters degree in Screenwriting, has also been involved in many broadcast projects. Among other things, she was the devisor of the documentary series Secret Suburbia for Living TV.