Producer is searching for Muslims in Brazil for documentary

27 de junho de 2016

 São Paulo – To show personal and professional overcoming stories of Muslims living in Brazil, dissociating Islam from the idea of terrorism, is the goal of cultural producer Tony Valentte, who is in search of characters who fit this profile to be a part of his documentary United Nations, I’m a Muslim (literal translation of Nações Unidas, sou muçulmano).

Valentte has been working for 15 years with educational videos. In 2005, the produced a documentary about prejudice against people from Northeast Brazil in Guarujá, a coastal city in São Paulo state in which he lives. The producer says he doesn’t follow a religion, but that he respects them all. He emphasizes that even with many Muslims living in Latin American countries, and with no cases of terrorism linked to these people, there is still a strong association being made between terrorism with followers of Islam in these nations.

“People are still making this association today. There’s radicalism against this religion”, he says. To him, since audiovisual works reach a very large audience, there’s a responsibility of producing works that also educate and not only entertain.

“I want stories that touch the heart. I want to show the heart of these people so the others will see that they are the same as everybody. The focus [of the documentary] is on positive stories, to show the workers that have a family to raise, that study, that graduate, that fight prejudice, that leave their homeland to raise their kids”, he says.

The producer says that he talked to a lot of people during the research phase of his documentary, but that he’s still searching for those that will tell their stories. The idea is to get the testimonies of three Muslims living in Brazil and, possibly, visit the homeland of one of them to show what they left behind.

In addition to searching for characters, Valentte’s still searching for funding for his work, with costs estimated at BRL 289,000 (USD 85,077). According to him, the goal is to raise support among business owners from the Muslim community that are interested in the doc’s topic.

Valentte wants to launch the documentary on October 24, United Nations Day. “The insertion in the title of the words United Nations is to show that, contrary to what the majority of society thinks, there are Muslims in several countries that live in peace, united to the nations that they chose to live”, he says.

To him, to launch the doc in the United Nations celebratory date is a “great opportunity” to emphasize the message of the documentary.

According to Valentte, the goal is to take the movie to the embassies of several Muslim countries in Brasília but, mainly, to promote the documentary in several film festivals in Brazil and throughout the world. “The focus is on getting a nomination for Cannes [film festival] and the Oscars”, he says.

Muslim men and women living in Brazil that are interested in sharing their stories in the documentary, or non-Muslims that want to refer someone they know for the video, can make contact via email Those sending the email should send an overview of their stories or of the stories of those they want to refer. The messages will be analyzed by Valentte, who will select those he wants to feature in the video. The email also can be used for contact and by those interested in supporting the documentary.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani