Film producer, Suzana Amado shares part of her love for dramaturgy by raising awareness to the issues she believes in, expanding the visibility of environmental movies.

My father taught me and I passed it on to my son. And not only to him: to everybody around me: you have to vote well, learn how to vote. Fortunately, for democracy, voting is the best instrument. Therefore, I’d like people to learn how to vote, to choose with certainty, to choose considering what may happen later on, to choose being aware of the past of those chosen to receive their vote. People have a background that does not go away, and all the people currently in power will only remain there if we vote for them. It’s up to us not to vote for the same people. I have nothing against thoughts that are different from my own, quite the contrary, that is what democracy is all about. However, I believe people need to be aware of what they are doing. Voting and choosing well, there is no better legacy than this. I grew up in the dictatorship, I know how difficult it is not to be able to choose and today everyone is able to choose, to register as voter, go there and vote. This is how we change things: by taking part in demonstrations, expressing desires clearly, being a pain in the neck of those representing us. You have to choose right.

Director and curator of Filmambiente Film Festival and responsible for the special edition of the Green Film Festival at the 8th World Water Forum – a network which she is a member of -Suzana Amado is passionate about cinema. However, her passion for Brazilian cinema has only begun after she found out that Brazilian cinema, in fact, existed. According to her, the film “Viúva Virgem” (1972), by Pedro Carlos Rovai — producer of the “Tainá” film series — opened her eyes to was being produced in the country. A 62-year-old woman from Rio de Janeiro, Suzana started her career at the Public Television, at Educativa TV, then she co-directed the Film Distribution department at Embrafilme, worked as a Marketing Manager at Columbia Pictures, Art films and also worked in the publishing business at the Campus/Elsevier Publishing House. She launched many Brazilian movies, including almost the whole series of “Os Trapalhões” in the 80’s and 90’s.

Not by chance, it was love that led her to environmental film. “I had a Polish boyfriend who lived in the United States and was an environmental filmmaker. I went there to visit him and he came here to visit me. Once, I was talking to a friend who, at the time, organized the guests of the International Environmental Film and Video Festival (FICA). I mentioned this boyfriend and she promptly suggested: ‘Let’s ask him to be a judge’. And that’s how I knew FICA”. FICA has been in the State of Goiás for years. In 2005, Suzana thought it would be interesting to hold an environmental film festival in Rio de Janeiro too. That was how Filmambiente was born, today in its eighth edition.

“A lot has changed since the beginning, environmental issues are much more present in daily life, and therefore, there are many more filmmakers, even acquaintances are making environmental films. Nevertheless, at that time, it was something more of a niche in political militancy, something kind of a guerrilla, but there was a lot of good films, especially European, Northern European, American and Canadian films. I realized that this possibility existed and I wanted Brazilians to start producing more films, as we have many environmental issues too,” says Suzana. Thus, the subject became part of Suzana’s life, who, in turn, became much more aware of what it was all about and passed it to her son Antônio: “He’s even more aware than I am,” she beams proudly.

Today, environmental and human development issues are part of Suzana’s projects. Among the various plans for the near future, there is a series about feminine nature that she is going to create alongside Ana Rieper, director of “I’ll Raffle off My Heart” (Vou Rifar meu Coração – 2011) and “5 Times Chico: The San Francisco River and His People” (5 Vezes Chico: O Velho e sua Gente – 2015). The idea is to film a series that has all the Brazilian biomes as scenery and, as characters, women with a preeminent role in these regions. “This series will deal with the problems of each region and its specificities from the perspective of female characters,” she says.

Another of her many projects is called “Tropical Paradise” (Paraíso Tropical), in which the idea is to bring the reality from the book “Casa Grande & Senzala”, by Gilberto Freyre to current days. For Suzana, the work remains very present in Brazilian life. “Minorities, the issues black people face, the lack of rights… Everything that ‘Casa Grande & Senzala’ discusses still exists around us and we don’t even realize it,” she claims.

On her spare time, Suzana takes the opportunity to share her love for dramaturgy with her other passion, her grandson Joaquim, 2 and a half years old, who is a fan of the animated TV series “Marsha and the Bear”. “He loves bear stories, so we tell bear stories to each other.”

Content published in March 23, 2018

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