The quietly mesmerizing video O Voo de Tulugaq (The Flight of the Tulugaq) by Brazilian filmmaker André Guerreiro Lopes is screening throughout the month of February in the Wexner Center's Box video gallery. The piece, which captures the flight of pair of ravens seen against the sky of wilderness Alaska, had its U.S. premiere last fall at the New York Film Festival, where Jennifer Lange, curator of the Wexner Center's Film/Video Studio Program, saw it and decided it should be available to audiences here. When Lange interviewed Lopes about the project via email, their conversation also touched on his work as a theater director and actor, and on the climate for innovative filmmaking in Brazil, as you'll see in the exchanges that follow. Read his specific comments about The Flight of the Tulugaq and find details about seeing it here.
Jennifer Lange: Can you talk a little about your work beyond The Flight of the Tulugaq? You are also an actor, right?
André Guerreiro Lopes: I'm an actor, filmmaker, and stage director (sometimes combining the three activities in the same project). I graduated in drama and audiovisual [art] at Sã Paulo Universityâ€”USP. This multi-interest mind was always part of me.
In Brazil I perform and direct hybrid stage productions, an intersection of physical theater, text, and cinema, directing original films for these projects. I'm also a film and TV actor and cameraman/cinematographer for a couple of productions, including the feature film Cançã de Baal (Baal's Song) by Helena Ignez.
Jennifer Lange: What's the filmmaking community in Sã Paulo like?
André Guerreiro Lopes: The film and video art fields in Sã Paulo in particular and in Brazil in general are in an exciting moment. Apart from all the production difficulties we know, it's possible to produce. There are some public funding programs that may not be perfect but inject vitality, and cable TV is also investing in independent productions and private institution's programs, like the one that sponsored The Flight of Tulugaq, ItaÃº Cultural. The main problem most directors and producers face now is distribution, still a complicated issue in Brazil.
Jennifer Lange: What's next on your horizon?
André Guerreiro Lopes: I'm preparing two films, one is an articulation of the material I've being shooting over the years and the other is a feature film about an absurd Sao Paulo city. In addition, I'm starting the second run of a physical theater show I direct and perform in, called O Estranho Familiar (The Familiar Stranger). I'm also attending film festivals around the world for screenings of Luz Nas Trevas (Light in Darknessâ€”The Return of the Red Light Bandit), a feature film by Helena Ignez, in which I play the main character. I'll be in California next week to screen it at Santa Barbara Film Festival. The film will be released this year in Brazil.