"AQUI VALE TUDO": WORKS IN PROGRESS..
August, 2011. I was playing tennis in my university with a few friends. By chance, there was another guy, called Elieber. I've found out that he was a Muay Thai instructor, and also, that he knew some MMA fighters. Well, that was the real beginning of my documentary "Aqui vale tudo" (Vale Tudo is the way Brazilian people used to call the used to be "free fight" that allowed the fighter to use any kind of martial art, fighting with bare hands and each round lasted 30 minutes).
Since then, i've been introduced to one training centre called "Quartel da luta" (translation is "fighting headquarter") and things happened in such a way that, actually, i've filmed almost in every single gym or training center in the city of Campina Grande (PB, Brazil).
Elieber Barros (Muay Thai Instructor, at the rightern side, just beside me)
In the beginning, i was wondering whether choosing a fighter or another to be the documentary's "Cicerone", that is, the key character to introduce me (and so the audience) to the whole microcosm of MMA in the city. As it often happens in documentary making, the subtle boundary between planned events and sudden, unplanned situations, tended to the second one, and if you see what i mean, it's the unpredictable.
I knew there were strong guys around here, i already knew there were good fighters like Paredão (Big Wall), Antonio "Pezão" da Silva (Big Foot, UFC fighter), Valderi Silva (he already taught me some basic boxing, a few years ago), just to mention a few.
Nevertheless, i couldn't imagine that Campina Grande, years ago, had produced one of the world's all time greatest fighter, a man called Ivan Gomes. Actually, Brazilian magazine "Tatame", dedicated a full cover to Master Ivan, and also some 6 to 7 pages in its September 2002 edition. Interesting fact, the whole material was provided by Ms Clea Cordeiro, Ivan's widow (actually she told me they weren't officially married, but still, she had been his woman for 25 years). I had the honour to meet Ms Clea two weeks ago, she was very kind, accepted to partecipate in my documentary and she's got lots of good material, including old radio footage about the chronicle/coverage of Ivan' s first fights in Campina Grande, and also pictures, Ivan's kimonos and other sports wear she personally sewn for him.
Since my last post i've also shot a few more hours of material, including training, speeches, and much more.
Evilasio Silva Araújo (Puma), an international MMA fighter that recently fighted against Ryan Thomas (UFC), Kelles Santos (who's now living in Rio de Janeiro, fighting for TFT), Stenio Barbosa (Kelles' pupil, actually, a young fighter from Campina Grande), and many more.
FIRST PICTURE: PUMA and RICCARDO MIGLIORE (yesterday, March the 30th, 2012)
SECOND PICTURE: PUMA and his pupil WASHINGTON (yesterday, March the 30th, 2012)
Last Sunday i've shot a good part in a rehabilitation clinic called "Care", as former (three times) Cage Rage (World) Champion Jean "White Bear" Silva, use to make donations to the no-profit organization. He already gave them a cow, and the ex-drug addicted are literally crazy for her and the lamb (they're Christians, but for them, the cow is more sacred than to Indian Hinduists!). The stories i've been told that day are all similar: years spent losing one's life with drugs like crack, cocaine, meta-amphetamines, and then, like a ray of light, something made these guys entering the world of martial arts and also, they've reconciliated themselves with religion, mainly Christianism. The receipt of a hard training, discipline, respect and self-control plus a strong faith in God, "made the impossible achievable" and some guys with a drug background of about 20 years, today are supervisors at "Care". They admit that not every addicted that enter the place to be submitted to a six months treatment in the lovely Paraiba's countryside achieve to get rid of the 'daemon' of drug-addiction. Still, Sunday there was such a joy in the air, you could just feel it, as a guy was finishing his treatment, that i've been told is quite a tough matter.
Many stories, many fighters, but what i want to underline, beginning with the title is that "AQUI VALE TUDO" (there' s not a significant translation and i'm still thinking about the English title of my film: in Portuguese "aqui vale tudo" literally means that "here everything is allowed", but please remember that VALE TUDO is the way Brazilians call "free fight"), that is, Campina Grande has a great fighting tradition, beginning with Ivan Gomes (more than 200 fights, all victories and only 6 draws/ties, one of these with one of the sons of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu funder, Master Helio Gracie, Carlson) and continuing with fighters like Edson Paredão, Antônio Pezão (Big Foot), Evilasio Puma, Toninho Furia, Valderi Silva, Kelles Santos, João Paulo Santos, Isac Almeida, Fabio Sapo, Rodrigo Silva Araujo (Digão), Stenio Barbosa, Rogério Souza, Thiago Macedo (Ceará), Rodrigo Mumbuca, Washington, just to mention a few.
Campina has also good Professors like Valderi, Sensei Fialho (he's the Judo Sensei who discovered Brazilian Olimpic "judoca" Ednanci), Vanderlan Targino (i've shot a good sequence with him visiting the tough neighbourhood where he grew up, including the school's backyard where every week the kids fighted one another to establish 'who was who!'), Ely Vanderlei (Antonio "Big Foot"' first professor), between others.
From real fighters to amateurs...it' s one month that i'm training with Elieber, actually, my Muay Thai Professor...yes, the guy through whom i've had the chance to meet all these fighters, and make this documentary, that already counts with 30 hours of footage.
That is, for the first time in my life i can say i'm making a documentary using the method/technique of 'observational participation', known by Anthropologists who deal with quality research inherent to the ethnographic field work.
I'm 35 years old and i'm not (so) crazy to think about becoming a pro fighter at my age!!!!!!!!!!!My weekly training does not reach a pro fighter's daily routine. Still, it's very good to "feel the vibe" by the inside!!!And as every martial artist perfectly know, since i'm training Muay Thai with Elieber i'm much calmer and at the same time, concentrated in every aspect of my life.
Finally, Stenio asked me to make a third trailer (i've already posted a teaser:http://youtu.be/szIfSAsbJmE and an 8 minutes trailer: http://youtu.be/xbksJFw9JGU), i don't know if i will, first because i've got no time right now, second because i don't want to reveal the whole material in a sequence of one thousand trailers!!!!! Anyway, in case i'll change my mind i'll post it on this blog.
I'm planning to begin the edition of "Aqui vale tudo" (everything suggests it will be a medium lenght or even a feature documentary) in June, when i'll finish my BA in Social Sciences, and i'll be a little bit less busy (i'd say that instead of "more free", as i've got a 3 years old son, four dogs, two occupations, this documentary to conclude, academic articles to write and... a wife...ex-wife...wife...ex-wife...wife...ex-wife...that's the way my relationship with Mrs Liliana Dias Migliore goes on...or went on!!!!!).
I've got no time, right now, to check my mistakes (in English), so i kindly ask the reader to understand me and to forgive me. I'll soon check this text and make all the corrections required.
I'll soon post more pictures. Peace everybody, i'll conclude by mentioning my friend, Professor Targino, as he said, during an interview that will be included in this documentary: "We all spend 75% of our life fighting against ourselves". Well, martial arts help us to know ourselves in a better and a deeper way and, above all, to regulate this inner fight, that at least, earns some rules and (self)discipline.
Any info: please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'M SELF PRODUCING THIS DOCUMENTARY, SO IF ANY BLESSED SOUL WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE SOMEWAY, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT THE ABOVE E-MAIL ADDRESS.