Fernando Meirelles  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Fernando Meirelles (born November 9, 1955 in São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian film director.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 2004 for his work in the Brazilian film City of God, released in 2002 in Brazil and in 2003 in the U.S. by Miramax Films. He was also nominated for the Golden Globe Best Director award in 2005 for The Constant Gardener.


His father is a gastroenterologist who traveled regularly to Asia and North America (among other regions of the world), which gave opportunity for Fernando to have contact with different cultures and places, by accompanying his father. At age 12, he received a movie camera as a gift, and this hobby continued ever since.

He studied at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of São Paulo during the 1980s. His graduation work was done in the form of a film, instead of the traditional designs of the other students: he went to Japan and bought professional video equipment to do the job. He presented it and graduated with the minimum acceptable grade.

When studying architecture at the University of São Paulo, Meirelles became involved in experimental filmmaking. After several years in independent television, he became an advertisement film director. He is still one of the partners of O2 Filmes, the biggest Brazilian advertisement firm, which has also produced City of God, Domésticas (Maids) and Viva Voz.

Along with four friends (Paul Morelli, Marcelo Machado, Dário Vizeu and Bob Salatini), Meirelles began his career with experimental films. Eventually, they formed an independent production company, Olhar Eletrônico. Subsequently, new friends joined the group: Renato Barbiere, Agilson Araujo, Toniko and Marcelo Tas. In 1982 the company aired TV programs on current affairs, as well as the children series Rá-Tim-Bum, with 180 episodes. In addition to obtaining high ratings, they also introduced a refreshing humorous informality in news reporting.

By the end of the 1980s, he became increasingly interested on the advertising market. In 1990, Meirelles and friends closed down Olhar Eletrônico, opening an advertising business, O2 Films. One decade was enough for Meirelles to become one of the most important and sought advertising producers.

In 1997, Meirelles read the book City of God, by Paulo Lins. He decided to adapt it to film, which has done in 2002, and decided that the actors on it would be selected among the inhabitants of slums. In a final triage, from 400 children, they selected 200, with whom they worked for the final shooting of the film. The filming was done with a professional crew. The film was a national and international success. In 2004, he was nominated for the Academy Award as best director with this film.

In 2004, at the Cannes Festival, the movie received four nominations: Best Director (Fernando Meirelles) - Best Adapted Screenplay - Best Photography - Best Edition.

As director of the film The Constant Gardener, Meirelles insisted that the soundtrack was based on the music of African countries, and most of the filming was done in Kenya. This was the first film by Meirelles in English.

In 2007, Meirelles began shooting Blindness, a film adaptation of Nobel-prize winner José Saramago's book, Ensaio Sobre a Cegueira. The film, which was released in 2008, was the opening film of the Cannes Film Festival.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fernando Meirelles" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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