Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval celebration is the largest manifestation of popular culture in the world.
Focusing on five people involved in the first and most traditional Samba school on record, Mangueira, the film will tell the story of how they pursue their fantasy of grandeur and glory throughout an entire year, as they prepare for this celebration that lasts just one day.
Because of its intense visual and musical appeal and striking dimension as a popular event, Carnaval has always garnered interest from filmmakers.
However, none of the existing Carnaval films focus on the most poignant aspect of the event: the motivation and perseverance of tens of thousands of destitute people who, for a full year, invest everything they’ve got– time, money and emotion– with no compensation or tangible gain, in order to have their one day of glory as participants in Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval parade.
The film will explore the individual stories and the drive that propels the collaborative effort to put up this spectacle. Shining the spotlight on the activity behind the curtains, it will focus on the creative and production processes which involve mostly unskilled volunteers and yet is able to produce a prodigious and majestic event, unparalleled in the world.
LOOK & FEEL
Featuring sophisticated photography, an elegant visual style and original soundtrack, Day of Glory will deliver contemporary content with high production value, aimed at international TV audiences.
Shot in full HD, the film will feature two 26-minute segments for a full 52-minute TV broadcast release.
The film’s Facebook page will display images of the creative development underway as well as time-lapse footage of the artifacts and costumes being built at Mangueira’s workshop throughout the year.
João Luiz, 28, a construction foreman, climbs a steep hill carrying the day’s groceries. Through his home’s window – a square void in the unfinished brick and mortar structure – he talks about life with his four children, his sister and mother in their one-bedroom, and the joy of playing in Mangueira’s percussion.
Edvânia, a 24-year old funk-loving mulatta takes us to her job as an outsourced janitorial assistant. In addition to parading for Mangueira, she works at the Sambadrome, cleaning toilets. Her whole family takes part in the parade – she tells of learning to Samba when she was three. “That’s why I am such a good funk dancer”, she says.
Russo, 46, owns a bar in the neighborhood. He’s been playing in Mangueira’s percussion for three decades. “I was born and raised here. The community is very tight, and for Carnaval, everyone pulls together – to make it all happen.”
Wallace, 22, has been playing percussion since he was 6. Coming from a traditional family, his grandmother is a part of Mangueira’s ‘old guard’, and his mother was a flag-bearer in Carnavals past. “I spend all year practicing until I’m perfect” he says, showing us his three worn-out tambourines.
Vanessa, 39, a self-described transsexual, is a devoted Mangueira member. In the ranks since she was a boy, in 30 years she’s never missed a Parade. Now she works as a seamstress, preparing yearly some 800 costumes for the event. Despite stereotypes, she speaks of a supportive community that embraces her sexual identity.