Photo credit: Sandro Silva

I am a huge football fan. Or, as some people like to call it, soccer. I am one of the over thirty million supporters that cheer for Corinthians, a club that is well-known for having the craziest fans in Brazil. Possibly in the world. You might disagree or say otherwise, and that is the exact reason why we as football lovers signed up for this perpetual and emotional agreement with our team. It’s a forever-lasting relationship. This common contract is signed and sealed even before we were even born. And it’s passed through generations.

Playing football barefoot on the unpaved…

Photo credit: Sandro Silva
Photo credit: Sandro Silva

Brazil is currently in free fall and it’s terrifying to watch. The daily number of COVID-19 deaths has reached more than 4,000, and new daily death toll records continue to be set. More than 330,000 lives have been taken in Brazil by this deadly virus and its mutations so far. And the government isn’t doing much to help. If anything, the federal government is denying the pandemic is that bad. And, if it wasn’t for the local free health care system, the actual situation would be much worse.

But there is another silent tragedy happening right now. And it will…

Photo credit: Sheena Rossiter

Four months before the Pandemic forced the world into lockdown, my wife went to Brazil to work on a project. I asked if she could bring me back a Brazilian banjo. It’s a local and reshaped version of this African instrument that’s also popular in the southern United States. For years, I tried to learn how to play the Brazilian banjo, but I never could.

Growing up in a favela, my home — where all seven of us lived — wasn’t much bigger than a room. Finding any sort of privacy in the claustrophobic environment was nearly impossible. …

Photo credit: Midia Ninja

“Quantos mais precisarão morrer para que essa guerra acabe?”

“How many more must die for this war to end?”

That was one of Marielle Franco’s last Tweets on the morning of March 13, 2018. The Rio de Janeiro city councilor was devastated by the death of Matheus Melo de Castro, a 23-year-old man who was shot on his motorbike while making his way home from church. Matheus was one of the many Cariocas (the name for Rio de Janeiro residents) that she gave a voice to at city hall.

Marielle Franco was a Black Brazilian woman. She was a mother…

It’s been a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. And, like millions of people around the world, I had holiday plans for 2020 that ended up being canceled. I was excited to host my dear friends from my home country of Brazil in my home of Canada. We were organizing the party of a lifetime to celebrate my 40th birthday. It was supposed to be the same weekend as the Champions League final. Football, barbecue, live music, good friends…it was going to be great. Of course, that didn’t happen.

Initially, we hoped that…

Photo credit: Sandro Silva
Photo credit: Sandro Silva

Documentary stories can be found in places and moments that we least expect. I was celebrating my nephew’s first birthday in São Paulo on a chilly Sunday afternoon among friends and family. It’s always nice to go back to where I grew up. My extremely curious partner, who was also at the party, asked lots of questions about everyone we met. She was especially curious about three siblings that showed up to the party. I knew them. We are family friends. We are all from the same favela (slum). They are parentless, young Black people with different sexual orientation and…

Photo credit: AP, Creative Commons

Pelé retired from football just a few years before I was born. I can’t remember how old I was the first time I heard of him. Everything I know about Pelé as an athlete was like hearing about a legend through oral storytelling. Watching him samba with the ball in archival TV footage was magical. I am not alone here. There are millions of people in Brazil and all over the world who will only ever see old grainy, usually black and white footage of this football legend on the field. …

Photo credit: Sheena Rossiter

It was 2016. The Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were inching closer, and many international producers were descending on Brazil’s postcard city. They were coming to create content to showcase where the first South American Olympics were being held. For a brief moment, just before and during the games, it felt like the world’s eyes were on Rio.

My partner and I were beyond busy with various audiovisual projects that year — a good problem to have. And after months of pre-production on a major project, our company was green-lit to come on board as the service production…

Photo credit: Sheena Rossiter

I always carry my ID. It’s a survival skill. Even if I go for a quick walk around the block in my quiet Canadian neighbourhood. Or, sometimes, when I’m just taking out the garbage. Why? Because I’m Black. I’m an immigrant. I’m scared. Perhaps traumatized.

I was born at the end of Brazil’s dictatorship, and I grew up in abject poverty in one of São Paulo’s many favelas. Growing up in an environment with criminality and prejudice against Black people, I learned from an early age I could vanish in an instant and not be found alive again. …

Sandro Silva

Sandro Silva is the co-founder of Dona Ana Films & Multimedia, an audiovisual production company in Canada. He’s originally from Brazil.

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