GLOBAL CITIES FREE OF SLAVERY, 52min., Brazil, Documentary
Directed by Luiz Eduardo Lerina
Global Cities Free of Slavery is a 52-minute documentary on modern slavery and the exploitation of labor in three different cities, located in different continents. Nottingham in the UK, Maputo in Mozambique and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Regardless of the geographic location, it’s clear to realize that the issue of modern slavery occurs globally. The exploitation of work in the fashion industry and in the specific case of Brazil, where about 1 million seamstresses work in degrading conditions. On the other hand, the exploitation of work that occurs among millions of illegal immigrants in Europe, considering that UK is the second European country that receives the most immigrants today. And finally, child marriage that still occurs among hundreds of millions of children in the world, mainly in the low-income countries. And in the case of Mozambique, where it is still common for female children to be taken out of schools and forced into premature motherhood and condemned to live in conditions analogous to slavery.
It's a pleasure to submit my documentary in this Festival. It deals with issues of labor exploitation, inequality, human trafficking, poverty and the vulnerabilities that underpin modern slavery. That gave me the opportunity to follow the work of researchers in three different cities, in different continents, in search of how they effectively tackle the problems of labor exploitation. The documentary also addresses the historic aspect of Transatlantic slavery, that left deep marks in our societies.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motIivated you to make this film?
The original idea was to film labor exploitation in three different cities: Rio, Maputo and Nottingham.
What motivated me the most was the challenge of filming in three different continents, three different realities across the world. And what was interesting about it, was to learn that these realities are very similar in nature, similar problems in a way. So, it was an amazing feeling to experience that and to put that in the film.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took almost three years. The project began a few months before covid pandemic, but we had to stop filming for the whole 2020, and restart it in the beginning of 2021 and finally finished in mid 2022. It was kind of complicated because of travel restrictions. So I had to hire local crews, Alex Kryzskiewicz in Nottingham and Carlos Noronha in Maputo. They both did a great job. The experience of working with these crews from a distance was quite a challenge, but in the end it worked really well!
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Inequality = exploitation
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Covid pandemic was a big obstacle, but the team and me were able to deal with that the best way possible. It was not easy to film during pandemic, to the point that we thought the project was not going to happen. So, doubt and uncertainty was along the whole project, that's why I think it's very rewarding, and a great feeling of accomplishment to learn that the film was voted Best Feature Film at the festival!
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It was great and very emotional too, to be able to reach people no matter how far in the world they are. Their feedback is so important to me. It's a response to their feelings and their impressions about the film, and each is so unique and fantastic. I have no more words to express my joy and emotion about it.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
It's the same process in each film. When I want to learn about something, I take my camera and begin filming. Of course there is pre-production work and lots of research too, before filming, but still, the process of learning about a subject begins when I start rolling the camera. As for the documentary "Global Cities-Free of Slavery" the working process was the same and centered in the work of researchers and academics in Rio, Maputo and Nottingham. It was a real challenge to put together their views and insights, not only about modern slavery but also about the historical aspect of transatlantic slavery, which plays an important role in the documentary.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
It's really hard to choose just one. But of the best is The apartment - Billy Wilder
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I like the atmosphere of film festivals, meeting other filmmakers, sharing experiences, and most importantly, the possibility to promote your film.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's the first time I use this platform. I've submitted to just a few festivals so far, but am planning to make some more submissions. I think it's a good platform for festivals, very informative too and an important tool for filmmakers to find the right festival for their films.
10. What is your favorite meal?
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Not sure what to film yet, probably something to do with environmental issues, but very much opened to change to another subject...