Sundance Film Festival 2022
Marte Um (Mars One)
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Writer-director Gabriel Martins weaves a tender and uplifting tapestry of a Brazilian family ... Writer-director Gabriel Martins weaves a tender and uplifting tapestry of a Brazilian family whose affection for each other is palpable in every frame, mining his delightful cast for authentic performances brimming with humour and charm. Delicately balancing its characters as they find themselves and their country at a crossroads, Marte Um (Mars One) invites us to dream beyond the stars. invites us to dream beyond the stars.
Hi Gabriel thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?
I'm holding up as good as possible trying to think about these new strange times in our world.
Has this time offered you any new creative inspiration or opportunities?
Yes. At the same time, the world and my country are going through a historical crisis, my first daughter was born last year, in April 2020. So I'm seeing the future and being wonderstruck by the meaning of life every day. I'm writing a lot and that also reflected on the stories I want to tell and how to tell them.
Congratulations on having MARTE UM (MARS ONE) selected in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2022, what does it mean to be part of such an amazing line-up of films?
It's an absolute honour and pleasure to be selected. This film was really hard to do. We had short money and time to shoot it but it was done with our whole hearts. So it is amazing to have a strong window to open and hopefully will bring us many opportunities.
Your debut feature In the Heart of the World had an incredible festival run gaining multiple award nominations, did you imagine you would get this type of reaction to your first feature?
No, I didn't. We do these films with our whole dedication but we understand the film business is hard and very competitive. Just to be noticed in this big ocean of movies, tv shows and everything else brings us joy and energy to keep doing it.
What were the biggest lessons you took from co-directing In the Heart of the World and how did these lessons help you write and direct MARTE UM (MARS ONE)?
I learned the importance of cooperation, listening and taking care of each other while making films. Usually, it's a hard endeavour constantly bringing out the best but also the complex side of people. It's very easy to lose focus so at every film I learn a little more about how to bring the best out of each person involved. In Mars One I had also an understanding of how to sharpen the narrative and find more dynamic ways to tell a story.
"For a very big part of my life, I walked around the city and took a lot of long bus rides and that made me feel connected to the Brazilian middle and poor class."
Can you tell me a little bit about how MARTE UM (MARS ONE) came about, what was the inspiration behind your screenplay?
I was inspired by the image of Deivinho as a science lover having to play soccer to please his dad. This was the first image that came to me and that made me feel about everything we fail to do to please something or someone besides ourselves. When we think about the black community, that becomes a more complex conversation because we were pushed by history to hide our dreams and just do what we were told. So I decided to make this film about what it means to be alive inside our families having to make difficult choices in our lifetime. I wanted to think about this black kid that enjoys looking at the stars and what does that mean today.
As a screenwriter does your own life/lived experiences ever serve as an inspiration for your film projects?
Yes, always. For a very big part of my life, I walked around the city and took a lot of long bus rides and that made me feel connected to the Brazilian middle and poor class. This is also my family, my background, people who built something for themselves out of nothing. I have this feeling in my DNA and would be impossible to be away from that.
How important is it for you to use your platform to create films that showcase the uniqueness, history & beauty of everyday Brazilian family life?
It is the most important thing for me. I write to bring light to faces and places that are usually forgotten or ignored by the power of greed.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making this film?
Having little time and money to do it. This meant we had to rush things up and be very creative along the process.
Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films/stories they want to tell?
Of course. This is a very young art form and every time we experiment we are learning more and exploring new horizons of communication and entertainment.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking come from?
I dreamed about being a filmmaker since I was 8 years old and I have no idea where this came from. This is the only thing I ever wanted to do. I guess it was the fantasy of it all and the way we can combine efforts to build a new world.
How much does your background in editing and cinematography help your approach to writing and directing?
It made me aware of possibilities and brought me more confidence with difficult choices. It is also easy to communicate my intentions.
Do you have any advice you would offer someone wanting to get into filmmaking?
Read a lot, watch everything you can with no prejudice and don't wait until you have what you may think of as the perfect camera or gear. Just shoot it, whatever way you can.
And finally, what do you hope audiences will take away from MARTE UM (MARS ONE)?
I hope they feel connected to the characters and understand the complexity of the relations. I also hope this film brings joy and hope in these very weird times we're in.