Connecting Brazil to the world
DISCOVER Year 3 • Issue 7 • Winter/Spring 2012 www.discoverbrazil.ca
Canadians eye opportunities in Brazil’s booming economy
Amazonas: Brazil’s green destination
Strengthening ties through education
Luring Brazilian entrepreneurs to the GTA
ouse H a r e p O s Amazona Discover Brazil Magazine
Connecting Brazil to the world
DISCOVER Year 3 • Issue 7 • Winter/Spring 2012
EDUCATION Strengthening ties through education
MINING Sustainability becomes a practice among companies
BUSINESS PITU brings “caipirinha” to Canadians
Luring Brazilian entrepreneurs to the GTA
COVER Canadians eye opportunities in Brazil’s booming economy
SPECIAL REPORT Amazonas: Brazil’s green destination
technology Delta Technology plans to expand to Brazil
REGULARS Your Letters
Encounter of the waters by Ribamar Mendes
Discover Brazil Magazine
From the Publisher Connecting Brazil to the world
Leila Monteiro Lins
Production Manager Executive Editor
Teresa Oliveira Ingrid Coifman
Flavia Agnello Jose Francisco Schuster Marcelo Vital Rosana Dias Translation Rafael Alcantara Copy Editors
Cecilia Chin Joan Sheppard Maria Helena Amaral
Art Director Photographer
Lin Rocha Diego Barros Saul Porto
Sales Canada email@example.com Sales Brazil firstname.lastname@example.org Frequency Discover Brazil is published two times a year
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Publisher Address LML COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING INC. P.O. Box 19612, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3T9, Canada Phone (647) 227-5514 email@example.com www.discoverbrazil.ca Distribution
Brazil & Canada ISSN nº1920-7859
Folow us at: Twitter: @BrazilMagCanada Facebook: Discover Brazil Magazine There are more great content and exclusive features at Discoverbrazil.ca. To get there, simply download any of the free QR code readers available for your smartphone and scan the square QR code on the left using your smathphone’s camera. Cover Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Brazilian President Dilma Roussef during his recent visit to Brazil. Photo: Copyright Office of the Prime Minister. The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources the proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of the publication may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. www.discoverbrazil.ca
Brazil receives record number of tourists in 2011
he influx of international tourists to Brazil has been consistently increasing. The fact that we hit a record high number of foreign tourists in 2011, in spite of the financial crisis affecting some countries, clearly demonstrates the steady improvement of our infrastructure, and improvement of the attractions and tourist services offered by our country. This vision is shared by Flavio Dino, president of Embratur, the Brazilian state-owned organization that promotes tourism in Brazil. According to him, all of our targets were achieved in 2011, when the greatest inflow of foreign tourists on record reached 5.4 million visitors. There were also record highs of foreign exchange currencies, reaching the level of $6.5 billion. We continue to show case Brazilian states through special reports. The Discover Brazil team features the state of Amazonas in this edition. During one week, photographer Diego Barros and I visited the State’s capital, Manaus, a city rich in culture and history, where we were able to participate in unforgettable experiences, like swimming with river-dolphins and trekking in the middle of the Amazon jungle, not to mention the awe-inspiring opportunity of being in close contact with the region’s wildlife and vegetation.
Another important topic covered in this edition is the growth in trade between Brazil and Canada. According to our interview with the Consul General of Canada, Abina Dann, in Sao Paulo, “the two countries have similar origins, economic foundations, aspirations and values.” Ms. Dann believes that both countries have a promising future in the global marketplace and therefore they have the potential to become major strategic partners in certain sectors.
Canada and Brazil also share strong academic connections, which have expanded over the last few years. Discover Brazil’s special report on Education brings not only promising numbers, but also talks about recent cooperative programs that support joint research projects in areas of mutual interest including; aerospace, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and renewable energy.
We are honoured to celebrate Discover Brazil’s two year anniversary in our first 2012 edition. It has been an intense journey to promote Brazil for the Canadian market. We appreciate the feedback we have had so far from our countless readers. We remain firm in our goal to present to the world the potential of this South American giant. Happy 2012 and enjoy our stories!
Leila Monteiro Lins Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Letters The newsroom continues to receive many compliments and words of encouragement from our readers in Canada and Brazil. We welcome those comments and look forward to your ideas and feedback. It is always a great pleasure to read the magazine Discover Brazil. With updated and relevant content, its articles are prepared with evident care and good taste. It’s cool to browse the magazine’s website, which has a super attractive design. I commend the entire team of the magazine for the excellent work, wishing you all continued success in 2012! Daniel Araujo, Strategist & Business Advisor at CBBO, Calgary, Canada
Discover Brazil is a very welcome addition to the longterm effort to enhance and expand Brazil-Canada relations on a variety of fronts. Common interests involving the two countries are quite obvious and abundant and numerous attempts are being made to take full advantage of the broad range of opportunities between them. As a citizen of both Brazil and Canada, and having spent several years in both countries, I congratulate the editors for contributing to make these two great nations more aware of each other. Adhemar Altiery, Corporate Communications director at Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Brazill
Discover Brazil is an engaging magazine that covers a wide spectrum of enriching topics about Brazil and Canada. Its articles frequently elaborate on highly important industries that are driving the Brazilian economy. Such bullish industries include mining, tourism, entertainment, gastronomy, etc. Discover Brazil is an influential and effective communications medium because it reaches a wider audience by publishing all its articles in English, thus raising awareness of Brazil and its culture. This, in turn, causes positive and lasting favorable impressions, thereby nurturing a desire to visit the country and experience its culture. The topics presented through Discover Brazil are upto-date with world news and events, and clearly in alignment with commercial, political, and cultural relations between Brazil and Canada, thus contributing to the strengthening of such relations. Jose Balcaceres, Associate director, Europe and The Americas at George Brown College, Toronto
Discover Brazil is a great way to learn more about Brazil’s rich culture, current events and economy. The magazine is informative and enjoyable to read. I’m so happy that a publication like this is available for Canadians. Regardless of your interests or background, this publication has relevant and interesting content. Anyone interested in learning more about this vibrant country, should check out Discover Brazil! Kejina Robinson, Toronto, ON
Contributors Ingrid Coifman
is a journalist and Public Relations Officer, who specializes in technology, economics, and tourism, having in her portfolio Culture TV, CBN Radio, McDonalds and Microsoft.
is a journalist specialized in the mining sector. She worked for Radiobras and Radioweb agency.
is a journalist and writer. He is the host and producer of Brazil Vital, a Brazilian music radio show in Toronto. 6
is a photographer passionate about wildlife and flora. Through his lens, he gives readers remarkable shots of the Amazon State, bringing out sensibility and impressive authenticity.
José Francisco Schuster
has been a journalist for 30 years. He is the producer and host of the radio show “Fala, Brazil,” and writes a blog on the Brazilian community in Canada.
is a journalist and Public Relations Specialist. She has worked for companies such as Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, Exame Magazine, Fiat Automoveis, and Embraer. Discover Brazil Magazine
Strengthening ties through education By Ingrid Coifman
Joint research projects, international programs for exchange students, and other strategic partnerships for innovation, attest to Brazil and Canada’s commitment to driving economic growth and strengthening international relations and trade.
Ted Hewitt: Canadian expert in Brazil
he academic connections between the two countries have expanded in recent years. Since 2007, 465 Brazilian students and professors have received scholarships to study or conduct research in Canadian universities. In the year 2010 alone, approximately 16,000 Brazilians came to study in Canada.
Canada has announced a series of programs between Brazilian and Canadian universities. Canadian Prime Minister announced a new Science and Technology Action Plan while in Brazil. In addition, $5 million over five years have been allocated to renew the existing International Science and Technology Partnership Programs (established in 2005). Also, as part of the Canada-Brazil Award: Joint Research Projects Programs, funding for 11 individual projects will encourage scientific cooperation and facilitate academic mobility between top universities. Areas of mutual interest include aerospace, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and renewable energy. On top of that, the Brazilian government recently invested $2.2 billion in 75,000 science and technology scholarships for students and researchers abroad - and Canada expects to become a selected destination for study.
The University of Western Ontario
Prior to receiving his Ph.D degree, Ted Hewitt attended university in Brazil in 1984. In 2003, he led negotiations for the establishment of the Canada Visiting Research Chair of the Brazilian Studies Program, which involves five universities: York University, University of Western Ontario, Université du Québec à Montréal, St. Mary’s University and University of Calgary. Since 2003, the program has hosted a number of distinguished Brazilian scholars at the partner universities and by organizing events on topics of national interest to both Canada and Brazil. Having recently finished his term as the VicePresident, Research and International Relations at the University of Western Ontario, Hewitt is a leading Canadian expert on Brazil. He has been on the Science Technology Joint Committee, working along with Canada and Brazil’s governments to find ways to develop collaborative work and enhancing strategies associated with economic demands.
“There is a growing demand for studies in bioscience, biofuel, alternative energies, information and communications technologies, and social innovation. More and more, Brazil has been interested in research & development, and Canada can contribute with cutting edge labs and equipment for the expansion of collaborative projects”, he explained. Discover Brazil Magazine
Education Western Ontario and University of Toronto signed an agreement to assist in scientific and academic research with FAPESP (Sao Paulo Research Foundation). A total of $200,000 will be invested in this cooperation.
York University: Introducing Canadians to Brazilian Culture & Language Simone Bohn, Ph.D and associate professor also coordinated Brazilian Studies at York University. She is very optimistic as to the outcome of combined educational projects. “Brazil has become a key destination for Brazilian students to learn English and that paves the way for them to pursue higher education in North America. We will see a significant increase in the number of exchange students over the next few years.”
To exemplify, she mentions the formal agreement that has been established between York and universities in Brazil (Universidade Federal Fluminense, USP, UFBA). This allows Brazilian graduates and undergraduates to apply for scholarships (through funding agencies such as CNPq and Capes) to study at York University. Another positive example is the ‘Brazilian Studies Seminar’, which showcases research projects developed by professors, students, or specialists in any area of study related to Brazil. The topics covered vary from samba de roda to participatory budget and are presented to York audiences on a regular basis. There’s also the ‘Exchange Program’, which selects undergraduate students interested in working for a NGO in Brazil during their 3rd year-term to have an opportunity to receive money grants. “The challenge for Canadian students is still mostly related to language barriers, but we do offer Portuguese classes at our Department of Languages to help bridge the gap,” Simone highlights.
Simone Bohn, PH.D and associate professor at York University www.discoverbrazil.ca
George Brown: Hands-on experience appeals to international students Over the last few years, George Brown College has reviewed its international strategy to target academic partnerships. Partner-organizations should have an applied education system in place, similar to George Brown, offering handson experience through co-ops, internships and placement opportunities within institutions.
The College signed an agreement with Senac Gastronomy University Centre of Sao Paulo, which started being discussed about three years ago. Senac-SP - which already has partnerships with well-known gastronomy schools in France (L’ecole Lenotre) and in Italy (Alma)-, will start offering in 2012 a 6-week internship at George Brown’s “The Chef’s House”, a restaurant open to the public and located in downtown Toronto. The agreement also encompasses interchange of professionals, professors involved in international culinary events.
Jose Balcaceres, Associate Director, Europe and The Americas said that “Senac is completely aligned with George Brown’s model, which involves mutual collaboration and revolves around practical skills development. Our students leave school better prepared and in an ideal position to get a job offer”. He adds that George Brown is contemplating expanding the program into a semester (4 months), with a 6–week in-class program and a 6-week internship in the near future. George Brown currently hosts over 160 programs, but there is potential for partnerships with other institutions in areas such as business. “Timing is perfect. Both countries are economically strong and we have a lot of commonalities.”
Jose Balcaceres (right), Associate director, Europe and The Americas at George Brown and John Higgins, director of the Chef School
Education Brazilian Institute of Canada: A ThinkTank to further development
Mario Silva, a Canadian politician and former Member of Parliament, has informed us that three new visa application centers are opening in Brazil. This will help to expedite the processing of applications for Brazilians interested in studying in Canada.
are made abroad. It’s time to diversify. There will be huge partnership opportunities, especially during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with Brazil’s projected investments of $1billion in infra-structure”, he adds.
Silva is the president of the Brazilian Institute of Canada, established in July 2011 as a think-tank organization, geared toward conducting research and engaging in advocacy in public policy. He has been meeting with post-secondary organizations potentially interested in housing the Institute, in exchange for having the Institute working in collaboration with them. “We are in the early stages of our work as a registered non-profit organization, but our goal is to become a larger group, including members of academia, the business community, among others with an international background.”
Silva points out that Brazil has become a top investor in Canada, revitalizing Canadian industry by producing jobs through giant corporations such as Gerdau and Vale. “Only 20% of Canadian investments
Mario Silva, president of the Brazilian Institute of Canada
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Miners seek to align shareholder interests with community needs By Flavia Agnello
he concept of sustainable mining is following international standards and contributes to the aspirations of our country. The local community wants to turn them into an ally, not enemy. The strategies adopted by mining companies operating in Brazil seek to combine environmental protection with economic and social development. The global president of the South African company AngloGold Ashanti, Mark Cutifani, stresses that the concern for sustainability does not abdicate the role of the capital in the company, which is to provide “results to shareholders.”
The concept advocated by Cutifani is shared by the chief executive of the Anglo American company - PLC (UK), Cynthia Carroll. According to her, all the Brazilian mining industry must come together to maintain sustainable practices. “Mining has an historical legacy. Not everyone acted responsibly (socially and environmentally) in the past. Even today, we can still see those who do not. We have to lead this change. You cannot let a few irresponsible people ruin what responsible people took so long to accomplish”. she stated. Carroll has also pointed out that to achieve the best results, mining companies must “build enduring partnerships” with various entities such as unions, governments, NGOs, and communities. “We will not achieve this by acting alone. In Barro Alto, Goias state, for example, we worked with CARE International. We invested more than $ 5 million in infrastructure, including schools, water improvements, the construction of a technical training institute, and even a hospital to the community”. This comment is emphasized by the chairman of Anglo American.
Vale do Rio Doce Foundation, Paragominas, PAby Felipe Varanda
Discover Brazil Magazine
Belther Jones Belther Jones is the chief executive officer of the Agency for the Technological Development of the Brazilian Mining Industry (ADIMB). He seeks to promote cooperation between government, business and research institutions in order to develop the Brazilian mineral sector. Discover Brazil - The world is currently on the verge of a global crisis, but the market for mineral commodities shows no clear signs of deceleration. In your opinion, how much longer will this scenario of strong demand and tight supply exist?
Belther Jones - The demand for metals will remain strong while China keeps on growing at the current pace and this should last for another seven years at least. After this period there may be a slowdown in the demand, but this will not be a significant one. Besides China, markets like India, Russia and Brazil on a lower scale, should keep an increased demand for metals. At the other end of the spectrum, an increase in the supply of metals through the discovery of new mines seems to be very unlikely. Thus, the outlook seems positive for the next year. Of course, bumps in the global economy may occur and may temporarily affect the prices of commodities such as the one that occurred in 2008-09. DB - How are you going to balance those interests that seem so contradictory?
Belther Jones - Adding value to the mineral chain is possible only in countries that offer an environment where production costs are competitive. In other words, it is only possible in countries where the
Belther Jones, chief executive officer of ADIMB
cost of production is low (this is not the case in Brazil), which has an attractive tax burden combined with an attractive and favorable labor legislation. To add value to the chain is a noble desire, but for this to happen without destroying the value of the business itself or the companies, it is necessary to create favorable conditions and not impositions. DB - Is it possible to combine economic development with environmental preservation?
Belther Jones - Economic development and environmental preservation are entirely possible. There are several excellent initiatives of sustainable performance. One good example is the bauxite mining in Brazil, when the mining is complete; it is fully recovered with its previous natural vegetation. The same is observed in the iron ore production in various regions of the country with special emphasis on the Carajรกs area. This is where the largest iron mines in the world combine efforts to preserve a large area of the Amazon vegetation. This area stands out as an island of preservation in the middle of the pasture fields where the primary forest once existed.
News In Brief Scotiabank is expanding in Brazil
Scotiabank is expanding its Latin American operations through an agreement with Commerzbank AG in which it acquired Dresdner Bank Brasil S.A. – Banco Múltiplo (DBB). Armando Mariante, former VP of BNDES, recently became the bank’s chief executive officer in Brazil. “We see tremendous potential for continued expansion of our wholesale business in key Latin American markets, where we have significant strategic strengths - such as oil and gas, power, metals and mining, agriculture and infrastructure,” said Mike Durland, Group Head, Global Capital Markets, and Co-CEO, Scotia Capital.
6th largest Economy in the world
Brazil has become the sixth largest economy in the world, overtaking the United Kingdom according to the British Research Center for Economics and Business (CEBR). The CEBR’s chief executive officer, Douglas McWilliams, said in an interview with BBC that this change of positions between Brazil and Great Britain is part of a worldwide trend.
Grupo Brasil renews its Board
President of Grupo Brasil, Arilda de Oliveira, and her team.
Grupo Brasil of Ontario elected a new Board of Directors, aiming to expand its work of promoting Brazilian culture in Canada. The group was established 29 years ago and has been involved with the Counsel of Brazilian Representatives Abroad (CRBE), in a partnership with the Ministry of External Relations in Brazil. Arilda de Oliveira is the new president of the organization. She is wellknown in the Brazilian community for her work at Itabras, a company that organizes BrazilFest, one of the biggest Brazilian events in Toronto. The Board members are: Guiomar Campbell (vice president), Leonardo Tenan (secretary), Marisa Oliveira (treasurer) and Valter Barberini (marketing director). Counsellors: Josivaldo Rodrigues, Barbara de La Fuente and Leila Monteiro Lins. To contact, send an e-mail to: email@example.com
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Pitu introduces “caipirinha” to Canadians By Rosana Dias
itu, a well know brand of “cachaça”, wants to introduce Canada to the most famous Brazilian national drink: Caipirinha with a simple and fool-proof recipe which consists of lime juice, sugar and ice-cubes and of course, “cachaça”. The mix has an unique and exquisite flavour that has a taste of Carnival and Samba. “Cachaça is a growing product with a great potential, however it’s still perceived as an ethnic product, therefore a boost in the budget to build brand equity is needed”, said Christopher Ronikier, Senior Brand Manager at Peter Mielzynski Agencies (PMA) Canada, one of the largest importers in Canada of beverages such as this. The company is aiming to increase its visibility to Pitu Cachaça by showcasing it in events, like the one that happened in the summer of 2010 at the music festival Brazilian Day Canada, as well as at the Sunny Side Pavilion Art Show and the Pitu Peteka Competition.
The PMA promoting strategy follows the concept developed by Pitu in its home base in Brazil. “To increase consumption, it is necessary to really know the product and the different ways it can be consumed. That’s why we have been focusing in the dissemination of different cocktails made with “cachaça”, specially, 16
Victoria Cavalcanti, director of international relations of Pitu
the capirinha.” Says Victoria Cavalcanti, director of external international relations of the Pitu bottling company located in Vitória de Santo Antão, in the state of Pernambuco, in the Northeast region of Brazil.
“Cachaça” is a typical Brazilian spirit obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane. The Pitu brand is the leader brand not only in Canada but also in the province of Ontario, where the product was introduced to the country five years ago. And it is growing even further. From July 2010 up to July 2011, sales increased 17.5%.
Here, there, everywhere
Ever since 1972, when Pitu cachaça started to be exported to Germany, the company based one of its key growth strategies in the international market. Currently, one can find the product in over 48 countries.
Besides being one of the company’s oldest markets, Germany nowadays is also ranked number one in the consumption of the brand in the international market. The Pitu cachaça currently can be found in different countries of Europe, such as Portugal, Italy, France and England as well as Canada, United States, Australia and South Africa. Discover Brazil Magazine
GTA: Gateway to Canadian and American markets By José Francisco Schuster
George Hanus, president and CEO of GTMA by Jose Schuster
Brazil is not an emerging market, it is an emerged market. That was the report brought back by a trade mission organized by the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA), which visited Sao Paulo and Curitiba, and included the presence of Mississauga’s Mayor, Hazel McCallion.
his trip consolidated, for the members from the public and private sector an “extremely positive” view of the Brazilian market. “It is a market that requires relationship building. We made initial contacts with companies and associations and we want to build on these relationships. Maybe next year we will go back to Brazil”, said the president and CEO of the GTMA, George Hanus.
The Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance is a publicprivate partnership and non-profit organization created by the communities and municipalities of the Greater Toronto Area, a region of 7,200 square kilometres with 29 municipalities, and home to 6 million people. It was created to work with companies from around the world to encourage them to establish themselves in www.discoverbrazil.ca
the GTA and to set up subsidiaries and manufacturing operations, to work with the Canadian and US markets. In recent years, the focus has been on the key sectors of information and communication technology, digital media and digital gaming; clean technology (wind energy, solar energy); food processing; advanced manufacturing and nuclear sector.
In its first ten years (1999-2009), the GTMA brought 67 companies to the GTA. Of these, 46 are still active and provide 3,200 jobs.They contribute $5 million dollars a year in property taxes and the employees added $300 million last year to the economy. In 2010, other 10 companies landed and this year seven companies are confirmed. 17
Mississauga’s Mayor, Hazel McCallion in Brazil
Mr. Hanus says the image of Brazil has always been positive with Canadian companies, like Brascan (today known as Brookfield), which has been active in the country for decades. He observes, though, awareness of the country has grown in recent years, since former Brazilian president Lula Da Silva built an image of the country as a very progressive one and open to change. “Personally, ethanol impressed me, once it made Brazil basically energy independent. That’s a tremendous boost, you don’t have to import too much oil”, he said. Further, Brazil found huge oil and gas fields off the coast, deep in the ocean, requiring new technology.
With regular trips going to the US and Europe, besides five already to India, when the GTMA decided to go in a mission to Latin America, “Brazil was the obvious choice because of the huge size and importance”.
In this second trip to Brazil, the group visited the Futurecomm show, the largest digital media show in Latin America, where meetings with companies and associations took place. Later, they went to Curitiba, where they had meetings with ICT and green technology companies. One of the main outcomes was the hiring of a representative in Brazil to team up with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to look at other opportunities with Brazilian food manufacturers; and to work independently for at least six months and organize individual trips. “A food trip as a group is to be determined”, said Mr. Hanus. “We want to encourage Brazilian companies to go international. It would be nice to see more of them, especially the mid-sized, go international, and the GTA would be an entry point to the Canadian and American markets”, finished the president of GTMA.
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Canadians eye opportunities in Brazil’s booming economy By Marcelo Vital
During a two-day visit to Brazil Prime Minister Stephen Harper looked for reciprocal opportunities for Canadian mining, telecommunications and other sectors Photo: Copyright Office of the Prime Minister
Brazil and Canada have been good friends for a long time. But, lately, their partnership and interest in each other have been growing stronger. Trade investments have spiked both ways and new “open-skies” agreements are connecting more and more Brazilians and Canadians.
The Consul General of Canada in Brazil, Abina Dann, thinks this is just the beginning. Ms. Dann has served abroad as a trade commissioner in Sao Paulo, The Hague and New York; opened Canada’s Trade Office in Mumbai; was a director at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and was Canada’s Ambassador to the Ukraine from 2005 to 2008. Consul General in Brazil since 2008, she has seen a steady growth in numbers and relationships.
Canadian and Brazilian business people do not yet know each other as well as they could. We have similar origins, economic foundations, aspirations, and values. We are natural partners, not only to develop each other’s markets, but to work jointly in third countries
By Marcelo Vital
”Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world and is poised to continue climbing. It’s a power to be reckoned with, both politically and economically”
Discover Brazil – What’s the commercial relationship between Canada and Brazil today?
Abina Dann - Canada and Brazil have a healthy and growing commercial relationship. Yet, it is but a small part of what it could be. In 2010, our bilateral trade rebounded from a post-recession year in 2009, with a 40% increase in two-way trade. Canada exported CAD 2.6 billion to Brazil, and Brazil sent CAD 3.3 billion worth of goods in the other direction. That’s an all-time record. In five years, I hope that we will be able to double our bilateral trade once again. We will increase our joint participation in science, technology and innovation projects. We will increase the number of Brazilian students going to Canada, and encourage more Canadian students to come to Brazil. People to people experience - that is the key. DB - How much is Canada-Brazil bilateral investment?
Abina Dann - At the end of 2010 – our latest figures – Brazilians had invested CAD 13.5 billion in Canada. That makes Canada the 6th largest destination for Brazilian Foreign Direct Investment. In the other direction, Canadians held CAD 9.7 billion of investments in Brazil. The dynamism and rapid growth of the Brazilian economy offers much potential for further Canadian investment. Canadian investors already have great interest in areas such as commercial real estate (both shopping malls and office space), agriculture, information communication technology, and mining. Other growth areas for Canadian investors are the oil and gas sector, aerospace, health and life sciences, and clean technology or environmental industries. 20
Abina Dann, Consul General of Canada in Brazil - by DFAIT
DB - How do you explain the recent increase of Canadian and international interest in Brazil?
Abina Dann - Brazil has been a priority for the Government of Canada and a country in which we have a long history of engagement. I would say that the increase of interest internationally is just a reflection of the reality of what Brazil is today: it is now the sixth largest economy in the world, and is poised to continue climbing. It has joined the trillion-dollar club of the world’s largest economies and is a power to be reckoned with, both politically and economically. It is the largest democratic and economic power of all South America. Brazil has world-class commercial, political, academic, and technological capabilities. DB - Prime Minister Harper recently visited Brazil and signed business and travel agreements with President Dilma. How do these agreements affect the overall relationship between the two countries? Abina Dann - The Prime Minister and President Rousseff had a very productive encounter and signed various agreements and memorandums of understanding in the areas of business, agriculture,
Discover Brazil Magazine
Drums echo a great economic-political momentum in Canada-Brazil relations Copyright Office of the Prime Minister
science and technology, just to name a few. We anticipate that these agreements are just the beginning of a very fruitful relationship between the two countries on all levels: government, business, science and technology collaboration, education and people-topeople connections. Both leaders launched a forum for the private sector to contribute to increasing trade and investment between the two countries; announced the creation of a Strategic Partnership Dialogue to foster discussions between Foreign Ministers on bilateral, regional, international and global issues; expressed support for the initiation of exploratory talks between MERCOSUL and Canada; agreed that fostering peopleto-people links will enrich and strengthen BrazilCanada relations; established an Energy Dialogue to enhance bilateral dialogue and collaboration on energy issues; agreed on the strategic importance of the newly established Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation; and expressed support to initiate a Space Cooperation Dialogue to explore possible avenues for cooperation in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes. Regarding the open skies-type Air Transportation Agreement between the two countries, we anticipate www.discoverbrazil.ca
that this should have a very positive impact on the number of Brazilians visiting Canada and vice versa. Canada has seen an increase of 26% in trips (or 14,600 arrivals) by Brazilian travelers since the Canadian Tourism Commission first began marketing Canada as a tourism destination in Brazil in 2009. The new air agreement will increase even more the currently projected arrival of an additional 33,100 Brazilian travelers to Canada by the end of 2012. DB - If a Canadian company wanted to go after the Brazilian market, what would be your advice? Abina Dann - For all its dynamism and exciting potential, Brazil is a complex and challenging place to do business. Brazil is not a market for superficial short-term approaches. An investment of time, energy and money is required. One must be ready to build relationships for the long-term. One cannot be fooled by immediate opportunities, which are often temporary in nature. Be ready to invest in trips to the market, marketing tools in Portuguese, and to understand the legal framework of doing business in the country, as well as the countryâ€™s culture and people. Brazil may require work to understand and to succeed, but is well worth the effort.
Priorities and emerging opportunities in Brazil Brazil ranks as 11th largest among all destinations for Canadian investment. Ms. Dann believes that there is room for much more growth in terms of Canadian exports to Brazil. The best opportunities for Canadian companies lie in these seven areas. 1. Aerospace
Canada is recognized in Brazil as a qualified and costeffective supplier of aerospace equipment. Embraer imported $2.6 billion of equipment in 2007, and its requirements are growing at a rate of some 25 percent annually, mostly for upcoming aircraft programs.
3. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
The Brazilian ICT sector is still dependent to a great extent on imported technology, giving good opportunities for Canadian companies with innovative technologies. Canada is considered a world-class leader, and the sector is growing as the number of world-class organizations fostering ICT innovation increases.
5. Life Sciences (Health Industries, Bio-Industries)
The life sciences sector in Brazil is massive. Among the 10 largest in the world, the Brazilian health care sector has maintained an average growth of slightly 4% a year since 2007. Canadaâ€™s strengths in the life sciences sector, particularly in bio-pharmaceuticals and in advanced medical technology fit well with the needs of Brazil.
2. Clean Tech (Environmental Industries) Given the projected growth of the Brazilian economy for the next 5 years, and the emphasis on infrastructure, the environmental industries market is expected to grow by 10% annually. Canada has identified Brazil as a priority market for the subsectors of air pollution control, solid waste management and water and wastewater. Also important are bio-energy, small hydropower, hydrogen & fuel cells, and wind energy.
The Brazilian governmentâ€™s economic expansion projects planned for the next six years are largely in infrastructure. Expected investments for the period 2010-2013 are in the region of $160 billion, mostly in the areas of energy generation, telecommunications, water and waste water, roads, railways, and ports.
6. Metals, Minerals & Related Equipment, Services & Technology
Brazil is the worldâ€™s largest iron-ore producer with substantial deposits of sixty other different minerals exploited by 1800 active mines. Canadian capability as a world-class supplier of mining equipment, services and exploration expertise is acknowledged by all local players. The 120 Canadian mining companies established in Brazil will invest over $4 billion in the next three coming years as well.
7. Oil & Gas Equipment & Services
The 50 billion barrels of pre-salt oil reserves will require extensive infrastructure to be produced, processed and transported. Opportunities for Canadian companies are concentrated in pipeline construction, land exploration and production operations and offshore training services. 22
Discover Brazil Magazine
Special Report • Amazonas
Brazil’s green destination
By Leila Monteiro Lins
Water lilies: a typical plant from the Amazon by Ribamar Mendes
Macaws by Ribamar Mendes
Saguinus sciureus (Macaco-de-cheiro) by Diego Barros
Top reasons to travel to the Amazonas
There are many reasons to choose the State of Amazonas as your next travel destination. For those of you who love nature, the State provides many tourism options. With 1.5 million square kilometres of natural beauty, the Amazonas state has a dense forest and a large number of rivers that, along with rich fauna, make up a paradisiacal setting.
“Amazon Rainforest: a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. One of the wildest places on the planet” www.discoverbrazil.ca
The State of Amazonas is almost entirely covered by the Amazon Rainforest, 98% according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). It is known as the world’s lungs. More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced there. The Amazonian Rainforest takes up nearly half of the national territory. It is home to 500,000 species of plants on record, the greatest biodiversity on the planet. Its rivers transport 15% of the world’s supply of freshwater to the sea, yet it is inhabited by only 16 million people. 23
Special Report • Amazonas
Paris of the Tropics
anaus, the state capital, was once a wealthy city. Its streets saw street lighting and streetcars earlier than London but it largely fell into disrepair after the Rubber Cycle meltdown (around nineteen century). The accumulated fortunes were so great that the richest Brazilian rubber barons in Manaus used to light their cigars with bank-notes. In 1967, the federal government implemented a plan to revive the city. Manaus flourished as a city
Manaus city by Ribamar Mendes
again, after the decline of its golden period, with the implementation of an economic model, the Manaus Free Trade Zone; which has resulted in over 500 high-tech industries, that generate more than half a million direct and indirect jobs - making this industrial production model the economic base for its more than 1.7 million inhabitants. The surrounding forest and the rivers charm all those who visit Manaus. It is an important city, rich in culture and history. So much so, that it can be dubbed “Paris of the Tropics.”
Where to Go
The Amazon Opera House This is the state’s main cultural heritage venue, a majestic representation of the golden age of the rubber cycle , with an impressive architecture. It is considered the fourth most comfortable theatre in the world. Encounter of the Waters This natural phenomenon takes place when the waters of the Negro and the Solimoes rivers meet one another, providing a unique, natural display of incredible beauty. The two largest rivers in the region run side-by-side without mixing their waters for over 15 kilometres, due to differences in density, temperature, and the flow speed of their waters. To get more information about the tour to the Encounter of the Waters contact www.amazonexplorers.com. Photos by Diego Barros
Handicrafts The Amazonian craftsmanship represents one of the strongest traditions of cultural artistry in the region. The state of Amazonas has the largest indigenous population in the country with approximately 66 ethnic groups. In addition to the local, national and international fairs, the crafts of the Amazon have a home here, where you can find the most beautiful handcrafted pieces and where you can meet the craftsmen who made them. Craft Centre “ Branco e Silva”(1999 Recife St./ Suite 21).
Historic City Tour A visit to the main tourist attractions of Manaus sends us back to the golden period of the Rubber Cycle and the landmarks that represent the development of the Green Capital of Brazil. www.amazonexplorers.com. 24
Discover Brazil Magazine
Special Report • Amazonas
ccording to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism can be defined as travel to areas that focus on being responsible towards the environment and take an interest in the wellbeing of the local community. Because of the immense size and variety of its indigenous population, the Amazon Jungle is one of the centres for ecotourism in the world. There are many types of activities offered on eco-tours in the Amazon. You can enjoy activities like tree climbing, swimming with river dolphins, alligator spotting, piranha fishing, and hanging out with monkeys. On my trip to the Amazon, I had an opportunity to enjoy all of these experiences.
Swimming with dolphins
The River Dolphins (Botos), like all ‘cetaceans’, feature a proportionately larger brain than us human beings. Intelligent, respected, and even feared, they are known for their attractive red colour and for being excellent swimmers and divers. These mammals have a very sophisticated radar system, with a structure that allows them to emit ultrasound waves that reflect off solid matter. The sound waves return as echoes, guiding the river dolphins through dark or murky waters, despite the reduced visibility.
Where: Amazon ecopark Jungle and Lodge (www.amazonecoparck.com.br) Duration: 1 hour Price: $85 CAD
One of the most popular tours amongst the tourists staying at the jungle hotels is alligator spotting. The local tour guide ventures into the jungle looking for the animal that becomes paralysed when a stroke of light hits his eyes. A group of tourists and I were able to witness the capture of a small alligator, 80 centimetres long.
Where: Amazon ecopark Jungle and Lodge (www.amazonecoparck.com.br) Duration: 1 hour Price: $30 CAD
Leila Monteiro Lins: “It was amazing having the river dolphins swimming around me. They are very friendly” - by Diego Barros
Native Indian Altmario Inuma, from the Kokama tribe, a tour guide at Amazon ecopark, shows tourists an alligator he’s just captured - by Diego Barros
by Ribamar Mendes
Canadian Tate Lillies holds the small alligator - by Diego Barros
Special Report • Amazonas Monkeys’ Park
Monkeys’ Park is open to visitors, who are allowed to film and photograph the primates in their natural habitat safely, with the assistance of professional tour guides. This is a centre where primates are reintegrated into the wild when they are brought to the site by the local Government Environment Protection Agency, SEMMA, as a result of any illegal trade or apprehension after exploitation. Monkey`s Park contains a conservation area, a piece of the forest located on the outskirts of Manaus. The Park is also home to several endangered species.
Where: Amazon ecopark Jungle and Lodge (www.amazonecoparck.com.br) Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes Price: $50 CAD (*) Canopy walkway
At the park, tourists can have a unique experience if they venture onto the Canopy Walkway. It is basically a 300 metre long walkway where one can walk close to the top of the trees and watch the monkeys and other typical species of the Amazon Region going by. The Canadian company, Green Heart, is responsible for the project (Canopy Walkway). In 2006, along with two Brazilian partners, Greenheart Brazil was founded; expanding its projects to include the development, implementation and management of thematic parks in areas of natural interest and tourism.
Leonide Principe took his first tree climbing lesson in 1997 while on a scientific expedition to photograph Amazonian epiphytes for the “Aerial Plants of the Amazon” project, which was supported and sponsored by the Department of Culture of the Government of the Amazon State of Brazil. From that moment on, Leonide knew he wanted to do something with the knowledge he had acquired from these experiences. The dream of bringing recreational tree climbing and an official tree climbing training school to the Amazon in Brazil was born in 2006. Hence, in 2007, Leonide and his wife, Vanessa, partnered with Tim Kovar, a master instructor for Tree Climbers International and founder of Tree Climbing Northwest, to begin their recreational tree climbing school. Since then, they have been operating in the Amazon region, bringing their customers closer to nature, an experience that allows them to sense a deep connection with the Amazon Rainforest. Where: Ariau Amazon Towers (www.ariau.tur.br) Duration: 1 hour Price: $90 CAD
Helomar Duarte, Green Heart director: The Canopy walkway (*) built at Monkeys’ Park by the Canadian company Green Heart has seven walkways. The estimated visit time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes - by Diego Barros
Leonide Principe, a tree climber and photographer who specializes in documenting the Amazon region, with his son - by Diego Barros
Tourists taking pictures of the Red-faced (bald Uakari) monkey at Monkeys’ Park - by Diego Barros
Diego Barros, Discover Brazil’s photographer, experiences the tree climbing sport - by LML
Discover Brazil Magazine
Special Report • Amazonas
Interview: Oreni braga
Amazonas preserves 98% of its forests
By Leila Monteiro Lins
The president of the Amazon Tourism Board (Amazonastur), Oreni Braga, an expert on Ecotourism with a Master’s degree in Environmental Management, tells us about the preparations for the State to receive tourists for the 2014 World Cup and the challenge of the preservation of the Amazon Rainforest.
Discover Brazil – Brazil has been experiencing very favourable economy. What are the main challenges for Amazonastur?
Oreni Braga - One of our main challenges is to increase our internal air logistics. Currently it is very difficult for our tourists to connect to Barcelos or Tefé from Manaus, for example. These two municipalities are rich in fishing and ecotourism. In addition, greater investment is needed in promoting and marketing the Amazon in key source markets. DB – How is the hotel infrastructure in the state? Is there an expansion plan with the World Cup in mind?
Oreni Braga - Manaus currently has a little more than 100 hotels that would be able to host people comfortably. This represents 5,600 housing units and almost 11,000 beds. Combining that with our forest hotels, boat hotels and the ones that are under construction we can expect an offer of more than 16,000 beds by 2014. DB - What makes the State of Amazonas attractive to international tourists? What makes the State unique?
Oreni Braga - It is Brazil’s Green Destination. Our attractions are based on nature and local culture. We can point out, for example, the Meeting of the Waters, the Sport Fishing, Anavilhanas National Park, Ecotourism, Forest Hotels, Parintins Boi Bumba Festival, our Opera Festival, etc. www.discoverbrazil.ca
Oreni Braga:“Our biggest challenges are the achievement of new flights and to market the State of Amazon as a tourist destination”
DB - The International Year of Forests took place in 2011 and had turned the world’s attention to Brazil. What is the commitment that you are making to reduce deforestation?
Oreni Braga - The State of Amazon is developing a governmental policy based on social justice and being environmentally friendly. As a consequence, even being the largest state in Brazil, with a million and a half square kilometres (larger than the Northeast Region), we are still able to preserve 98% of our forests. 27
Special Report â€˘ Amazonas
Interview: Oldemar Ianck The Manaus Free Trade Zone sets new profit records By Leila Monteiro Lins
Discover Brazil - What was the purpose of creating the Manaus Free Trade Zone?
Oldemar Ianck - The Manaus Free Trade Zone is a free import and export trade area where special fiscal incentives apply, set up with the objective of creating in the Amazon Region an industrial, commercial and agricultural center under economic conditions that allow its development, given local factors and the great distance separating it from its markets. DB - How is the technological development of the region?
Oldemar Ianck, superintendent of the Manaus Free Trade Zone
Despite the economic crisis in the European and U.S. markets, the Industrial Park of Manaus (PIM) has had amazing results: revenue for the first six months 2011 totalled $20.6 billion, 23% higher than the same period in 2010. In an interview with Discover Brazil magazine, the superintendent of the Manaus Free Trade Zone, Oldemar Ianck, explains how the technological development of the region has been taking place.
Oldemar Ianck - The technological development of the region is occurring at satisfactory levels in several areas. The Industrial Park of Manaus currently has multinational companies that manufacture here the latest products for the Brazilian and international markets. The diffusion of knowledge and technological innovations have leaped forward through the integrated cooperation between universities, research institutes, national and international companies, with support from SUFRAMA. (the Manaus Duty Free Zone Oversight Commission).Today we have institutions of great relevance operating in this region, such as the German institute Fraunhofer ENAS, the Nokia Institute of Technology, Technology and Innovation of the Industrial Park of Manaus (PIM-CT), all focused on industry support activities. Regarding the regional potential, it is worth mentioning the Amazon Biotechnology Center that is a pioneering and promising development center of projects and products directly linked to the sustainable use of Amazonian biodiversity resources.
Discover Brazil Magazine
Special Report â€˘ Amazonas
Just the Facts Getting there
Air Canada has flights from Toronto with connections in Brasilia or Sao Paulo. Ticket prices can vary, around $2,030. Copa Airlines flies from Toronto to Manaus, with one connection in Panana. Priced around $988.
Where to Stay: Manaus city
Where to Stay: Manaus city
The chef de cuisine at the Tropical Manaus Hotel, Reginaldo Silva, shows us the baked Tucunare fish, one of the typical dishes of the northern region of Brazil. The Amazon itself has more than two thousand species of fish, so it is no surprise that the Amazonian cuisine is heavily based on fish. Not to mention the great influences of its indigenous population and European immigrants.
Value range: up to $110 CAD
Hotel Tropical Manaus (5 stars)
Value range: Up to $260 CAD.
400 thousand meters of green space, private beach, Tropical Manaus zoo, located 18 kilometres from Manaus city centre. www. tropicalhotel.com.br
Hotel do Largo (3 stars)
Located 5 minutes from downtown
www.hoteldolargomanaus.com.br Where to Stay: Manaus city
Boutique Hotel Casa Teatro (2 stars) Value range: $90 CAD
It is located in the heart of the cultural and historic centre of Manaus and a few steps from the famous Amazon Theatre. All floors are decorated with fine works of art and the local handicrafts of the Amazon region. Works and paintings from native tribes are also featured in the collection. www.casateatro.com.br
Tropical Manaus Hotel
Baked Tucunare fish
Tropical Manaus Hotel Zoo Photos by Diego Barros
Special Report • Amazonas Where to Stay: Jungle lodges
Where to Stay: Jungle lodges
Package for two nights 1 hour from the Manaus Airport Value range: up to $580.00 CAD per person in Double room + 10% Included: * Transfer IN (car and boat) and Transfer OUT * Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner * Tours: nature hike, Monkey Forest, visit to a native community, fishing, evening tour by canoe to enjoy the sounds of nature and “Meeting of the Waters” phenomenon. www.amazonecopark.com.br
Package for two nights 55 kilometres from Manaus Value range: up to $770 CAD per person in Double room + 10% tax Included: * Transfer IN (car and boat) and Transfer OUT * Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. * Tours: Jungle hike, piranha fishing and caiman spotting, sunrise tour, visit to native housing www.ariau.tur.br
Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge
Ariau Amazon Towers
Photos by Diego Barros
Francisco e Ellen Ritta, owners of Ariau Towers
The journalist travelled courtesy of the Amazon Tourism Board - Amazonastur.
Discover Brazil Magazine
Delta Technology plans to expand to Brazil
Waterloo: The Canadian Silicon Valley
By Ingrid Coifman
The region attracts a great amount of capital, talent from around the country and has a strong technology sector with hundreds of firms. Leading companies include Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry, which is headquartered there.
aterloo has a strong knowledge -and service- based economy with significant insurance business and two universities. Their largest employers are Sun Life Financial, the University of Waterloo, Manulife Financial, Sandvine, Wilfrid Laurier University, and already mentioned, RIM. The city is part of Canada’s Technology Triangle (CTT), a joint initiative of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and the Region of Waterloo which markets the region internationally, promoting not only Information Technology (IT) industries, but also all aspects of economic development. It’s an $18 billion Tech Cluster “Waterloo has become one of North America’s leading pools of technology players, as well as the heart of academic and industrial research, and development initiatives. We are a business community with an extraordinary track record and packed with
mentors who can share knowledge with succeeding generations,” says Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech, a regional hub for commercialization of innovation that supports IT companies.
Delta Technology was created 6 months ago, but is already planning to expand its presence by entering the Brazilian market. This startup company offers expertise in network video surveillance, working with big scale projects such as city surveillance.
The company promises to revolutionize the network video surveillance market, with robust solutions Discover Brazil Magazine
aimed towards big scale projects, and also to provide solutions for the transportation and government sectors. The surveillance market has been growing all over the world. In 2010, for instance, it reached $9 billion dollars in sales, and according to IMS Research, it will reach $18 billion dollars by 2015, when this top notch technology takes over the market. “Waterloo has the perfect environment to propel the development of startups. Entrepreneurship, capital, and skilled people are some of the reasons why Waterloo has become the best place for innovation,” says Rodrigo Calheiros Borges, Delta’s founder and CEO.
Accelarator Center, Delta Tecnology’s office
Waterloo in numbers: More than 550 technology firms 200 start-ups
2,000 tech jobs open
54,000 post-secondary and 26,000 cooperative education students annually 150 research institutes
7% growth in tech employment in the last 5 years
123% growth rate in software engineering careers $10.7 million federal investment in Canadian Digital Media Network
Digital media is expected to become a $ 2.2 trillion global industry over the next 5 years www.discoverbrazil.ca
Rodrigo Calheiros Borges, Delta’s founder and CEO
Research in Motion (RIM), Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
BRAZILIAN N CARNIVAL BALL 2012
t he FINALE
September 15, 2012 Join us at the HISTORIC FINAL BRAZILIAN CARNIVAL BALL to celebrate 46 years of committed leadership in supporting deserving causes. PROCEEDS TO CANCER CARE – be a partner to help transform the experience of cancer, improving the “Quality of Life” for millions of Canadians. This year’s two beneficiaries are the de Souza Institute Foundation and the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO),, two collaborators dedicated to enhancing clinical services and research to better address the debilitating and prolonged physical, emotional, and day-to-day issues of the cancer journey. The de Souza Institute – www.desouzanurse.ca – with founding partners Princess Margaret Hospital, Cancer Care Ontario and supported by a grant from the Government of Ontario, brings the latest tools and best practices to nurses caring for patients and families dealing with cancer. In just over three years, this effort has resulted in a 40% increase in nurses achieving specialized certification in oncology. The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) – www.capo.ca – a Canadian charity that facilitates excellence in supportive care for people with cancer and their families throughout the cancer experience – from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship and in some cases, end of life. The 2012 Brazilian Ball will highlight its outstanding history and pay tribute to Founder Anna Maria de Souza and the Ball’s past chairs and honorary chairs.
B R A Z I L I A N C A R N I VA L B A L L E X E C U T I V E C O M M I T T E E PRESIDENT AND CEO Ivan X. de Souza
CHAIR Mario Silva
HONORARY CHAIRS Shari Fell, Tony Gagliano, Guilherme Guidi, Marvelle Koffler, Ken Shaw, Helen Vari
For sponsorship, table or ticket information please contact Kathie Gayda, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 905 475-2520 • www.brazilianball.com 34
Discover Brazil Magazine
Brazil, a regular on TIFF’s big screen By Ingrid Coifman & Rosana Dias
Director Fernando Meirelles and his team during the launch of ‘360” in Toronto - by LML
The 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, brought out the international media and powerhouse names, including Bono, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, and Madonna. Screening over 336 films from 65 countries and having nearly 400,000 attendees, last year’s Festival showcased five Brazilian movies, including Fernando Meirelles’ 360 (check out his interview with DB). “Brazilian films explored an elaborate cinematic language in their approach to the diversity of Brazil’s culture, both past and present,” says Diana Sanches, International Programmer at TIFF. www.discoverbrazil.ca
360: Fernando Meirelles most recent movie presented at TIFF 2011 by 02 Filmes
Fernando Meirelles: Filmmaking at its best By Ingrid Coifman
razilian Fernando Meirelles is one of the cinema’s finest filmmakers. After his ground breaking work in ‘City of God’ (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director), he not only brought massive international Director Fernando Meirelles: attention to Brazil’s war on “I need to have butterflies in my stomach” by 02 Filmes. drug dealers in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, but earned a permanent, prestigious spot among the most influential movie makers in the industry. In his most recent project, ‘360’, he reunited with Rachel Weisz, from the ’The Constant Gardener’, movie that was produced in 2005 and received many award nominations, including a Golden Globe for Meirelles as Best Director, and an Oscar for Weisz, which she took home.
Last fall, ‘360’ had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), bringing together a stellar cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Ben Foster in a series of interlinking stories between couples in cities such as London, Vienna, Rio, and Denver. We got a chance to ask the director what drew him to this project. Discover Brazil - After working in breathtaking movies, denouncing poverty, social exclusion, did you feel any pressure to continue working on similar productions?
Fernando Meirelles - There’s no direct pressure, because I’m a very independent movie maker. I always
feel free to choose what I want to shoot, although there were many invitations to make movies with these themes. I look for different experiences on purpose. DB- Are super productions easier to direct than projects such as ‘360’, where you get to work with more intimate subjects and multilayered characters?
Fernando Meirelles - I always feel more motivated and alive when I’m doing something that I don’t know how to do at first. Although I take risks, and might not always get it right, I’d rather not repeat a successful formula tried before. I need to have butterflies in my stomach. Maybe this movie was the best shooting experience I’ve ever had in my life. It’s good to be able to work with actors without having to worry about huge production matters, such as having to dynamite the Louvre Museum, for instance. DB- What was your approach to working with such a great team of actors?
Fernando Meirelles - The little screen time for each character was a challenge. It was almost impossible to build complex characters and develop each one of their stories deeply. The movie is about how our lives are interconnected and the possibilities that connection brings. From a director’s point of view, this type of project, although very challenging, is very fulfilling. DB- Which stories have interested you lately?
Fernando Meirelles - There’s no pattern. Recently I read ‘Solar’, by British author Ian McEwan, and got very interested in the theme. I’d love to work as a director in a comedy movie, especially focusing on the lives of seniors. I want to make movies in Portuguese, in which I can completely understand what I’m doing.
Discover Brazil Magazine
Discover Brazil Magazine
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The goal of Discover Brazil magazine is to introduce the Canadian reader to a diverse country of continental dimensions, that is focused on...
Published on Feb 9, 2012
The goal of Discover Brazil magazine is to introduce the Canadian reader to a diverse country of continental dimensions, that is focused on...