This spring, the
John Fowles Center for Creative Writing
Department of Englis
h has hosted a collection of truly thought provoking, educational and distinguished creative artists from South America. On Monday, April 4th,
, Brazilian producer, screenwriter, and film director, spoke about his experience working in cinema in his home country of Brazil.
He touched upon three of his films in particular, his experience as a filmmaker, and the struggle of being a Brazilian filmmaker in a marketplace dominated by American movies.
’s attended the School of Communications and Arts at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. During his that time he was constantly immersed in film making working on nearly fifteen films during his college career. Klotzel told us that he’s always had a great affinity for films and storytelling since the time he was young. His passion for storytelling and bringing written narrative to life, propelled his career in cinema and is why he has dedicated his life to the creation and production of Brazilian cinema.
The first film that Klotzel directed was
A Marvada Carne
. This was a widely successful movie which gained incredible worldwide acclaim winning Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Director at the Gramado Film Festival. This was Klotzel’s first introduction to the international film world and established him as a talented director.
Klotzel shared with us that the vast positive acclaim he got from the international film community from A Marvada Carne was both rewarding and intimidating. He said he was pleased with the recognition and compliments, but also felt pressure to make his next film equally as great.
After the success of his first film, Klotzel was funded by German and French cinema companies which gave him more opportunity and resources to make his next film successful. Due to the acute Brazilian film market, external funding is almost necessary in order to be a competitive player in the Brazilian cinema marketplace. Brazilian films make up only 12 percent of the Brazilian cinema as American films dominate over 80 percent. Competing with the financial backing of an American film is incredibly difficult for most Brazilian filmmakers, thus, funding from other countries is incredibly beneficial.
When it came time to make his second film in 1990, a new president had just been elected who stopped all funding for Brazilian cinema; this put the Brazilian film market in a complete standstill. Due to this, Klotzel’s second film, the only film released in Brazil during the crisis, wasn’t as successful as his first.
Despite the instability of the Brazilian film marketplace, Klotzel has always been drawn to cinema because of his love for storytelling. His passion for the industry has made him continue to stay in this line of work even though it doesn’t often yield financial success.
Apart from financial instability, Klotzel also struggles with screenwriting. Klotzel told us that he isn’t naturally a good writer, in fact he said he isn’t “too good with words” at all. Thus, he always had someone “come along” to help him with proper wording and writing. Klotzel’s dedication to his craft exemplified his passion for the film industry which came across throughout his presentation. When asked what his favorite genre was to create stories, he said he didn’t have one, but typically gravitates towards comedy.
During the end of his presentation he discussed what he would be working on next. His latest project is based off of a true story of an event that happened to him several years ago, and, not surprisingly, is in the line of comedy.
His upcoming project will reenact a robbery that Klotzel fell victim to, the second robbery he’s faced during his career. During this robbery, his house was completely turned over and his computer was stolen. Unbeknownst to the thief, Klotzel’s computer was equipped with an app that had a video recording device inside. Thus, Klotzel was able to watch his robbers, live. The thief gave the stolen computer to his girlfriend, and through the exchange of video recording snippets Klotzel watched, he discovered that the two were cheating on one another. The story was too crazy to make up, he said.
In conclusion, Klotzel reiterated his love for storytelling in the form of cinematography. He hopes to continue making, directing and writing films, with the thief story in center state as his next project.