Dancing the Forro

By Daniel de la Calle

The first couple screenings in Rio have been the hardest to set up. I had little time to prepare them, to meet the people that pull the strings six thousand miles away. The amount of trust and generosity people I had only met via email have displayed has been so empowering and touching. Why are things so hard to change and challenges to difficult to face when there are such good folks out there? 
The first screening was on the night of the 19th at the catholic University of Santa Úrsula, in the downtown neighborhood of Botafogo. Our film triggered the idea among faculty members for a series of documentaries to be shown on a regular basis to the undergraduate students and also served as baptism to the whole program. Suzana Sattamini, the woman behind the event, together with Pedro Cavalcanti, happens to know Mr. Carlos Minc, the Brazilian Minister for the Environment.  Mr. Minc was in Rio that day, so we went to meet him at an event, talked to him for a moment and handed him a copy of A Sea Change. It was all a very fortunate coincidence.
The following day Mr. Haroldo Lemos, president of the United Nations Environment Program in Brazil (UNEP for us, PNUMA for them) set up a screening at the Society of Engineering and Architecture for his postgraduate students, a group of enthusiastic young women and men that want to make a profession out of defending and preserving the environment. Mr Lemos and his wife were most gracious and they offered a great space, very close to the water, in land that was gained to the bay. There was a beautifully preserved double pump built by James Watt at the entrance. We even had a popcorn machine outside the cinema that served sweet and salty (cooked with pork rinds!) popcorn for everyone.
Both days the screenings were followed by a Q & A debate where all attendees showed great appreciation and enthusiasm. Overall I am really happy with the way things are going. If only I can find some time to learn to dance forro life will be perfect.

Mr. Carlos Minc (2nd from right) and Daniel de la Calle (2nd from left
Popcorn and A Sea Change in Brazil

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