Magazine article Screen International

Tiger Directors: Fellipe Barbosa, Casa Grande

Magazine article Screen International

Tiger Directors: Fellipe Barbosa, Casa Grande

Article excerpt

Brazilian director Fellipe Barbosa took inspiration from his own family's financial problems for his debut feature Casa Grande.

This contemporary, coming-of-age tale is about a teenager in his final year at one of Rio's top private schools dealing with his family's bankruptcy.

"Around 2002 to 2003, my parents lost a lot of money. I wasn't around at the time because I was studying in the States," recounts Barbosa, who is an alumnus of Columbia University's film programme. "The film is a fantasy of what it would have been like if I had been a teenager living with my parents at the time of the crisis."

Alongside dealing with his parents' money worries, the central protagonist is also struggling to get to university as a new Brazilian law reserving 50% of higher education places for students coming from state schools or who are of African or indigenous descent comes into force.

"It's a very personal, character driven story which also deals with a lot of issues touching Brazil today from Brazil's legalisation of affirmative action last year to the fact that the country's wealthy classes feel uneasy about their wealth. They don't talk about it," says Barbosa. …

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