Wagner Dantas Interview 24/08/2023


We are very happy to be here with the winner of the Best Screenplay category of MSFF First Season, Wagner Dantas! Let’s start right away with a question regarding the very category mentioned above: what was your relationship with your actors in the process of sharing the script? How did they react to what you showed them?

Maria Barreira was the first one I called, I had known her for some time, and we had this desire to work together. Paulo came after the actress. The idea would be someone who had the profile of the character, and that Maria would be comfortable with him.

The reaction was great because I felt like they wanted to play these two people. We made some tweaks to the script midway through the process. And it resulted in this very special award for me and for all the team.

We would like you to tell us about what inspired you most to bring this project to light. Did you take inspiration from anything? And how easy or difficult is it to bring an indie film to life in Brazil these days?

I wanted to tell something that felt true to me, something that I could feel the things I was writing about. Then I thought of myself. Fidelio is a collection of events I lived through and things I wish had happened. I think you tell something you lived through brings you closer to something as original as possible.

Independent cinema is still something very difficult in our country. Our government creates an incentive methodology to help cinema in some way, but this is not able to understand every demand. Fidelio had a budget of €94, a good part of which was invested in festivals, travel and food of the whole team. In Brazil, we need to learn to do a lot with little, or we just don’t do it.

Is there an analogy between your name and that of the main character in your short film ‘Fidelio’? And looking back, do you think you were able to bring to the screen everything you had in mind during the writing process?

I think I ended up answering a little of that in the previous one. But that’s exactly it. The script is a mix of things that happened and what I wanted to happen. These desires and experiences live in me, so it turns out that I had this mastery of everything I wanted to say through the characters.

Regarding his name, it was supposed to be a provisional name, but then I ended up leaving it anyway. I think I got through like 75% of what I wanted to say. The fact that the films budget was short ended up making this process a little difficult.

We are curious if you have anything else in mind for the future, and if you are already moving to make another film. Can you tell us anything about that?

Yes! Demand will increase from now on. I have some projects coming up, and I have a script close to being finalized soon. My wish is for it to happen between December and January. And of course, I hope to be able to participate in your festival more often. I’m already looking forward for the coming seasons.

A question we ask almost all of our guests: what inspired you to start making films? And to this day, what motivates you to continue? We wish you all the best in the future, and thank you for your trust in showing us such an inspiring product!

I was in the 2nd period of the university when a class about the script workshop touched me. When I realized how powerful this function of how tell stories, I hardly slept that day, I felt like I had found something I would love forever. I started watching absolutely all kinds of movies, at several different times, interning in feature films and developing my first film. I also started a film project on the internet, it’s called @cinematologia.

What motivates me to continue is that I found myself in cinema and art in general. Cinema gave me an identity, it gave me a life, it brought me closer to incredible people. I really don’t know what I would be doing now if it weren’t for what cinema has done for me.