Exclusive Interview with Bruna Cabral
Biography: Bruna Cabral is an award-winning filmmaker from Rio de Janeiro with a passion for creating emotionally remarkable stories. She graduated with Business and Management of Entertainment, Producing and Directing degrees from UCLA. PIECE OF ME is her debut short film as Director, also written and produced by Cabral. She was awarded the Special Jury Mention Award at the Short of the Year Film Festival in Spain, the Best First-time Director Award at Oniros Film Awards in Italy, and Best Production at Prague International Monthly Film Festival in the Czech Republic. PIECE OF ME has been nominated for 33 Festivals, including the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, accredited as Academy Award Qualifying and awarded in 11 Film Festivals worldwide. Cabral’s first feature film as Associate Producer, HAM ON RYE, Directed by Tyler Taormina, held its World Premiere in 2019 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, accredited as Academy Award Qualifying. HAM ON RYE was selected for the Locarno Film Festival, also accredited as Academy Award Qualifying. The New Yorker mentioned the feature film in its article “The 2021 Oscar Nominations, and What Should Have Made the List”. The short film, HEADWAY, Produced by Cabral and Directed by Camila Rizzo, held its World Premiere in 2018 at the LA Shorts International Film Festival, accredited as Academy Award Qualifying, and was awarded in 12 Festivals.
Cabral was awarded Best Producer at the Queen Palm International Film Festival. Cabral supports female filmmakers having her projects screened at the Hollywood Women's Film Institute: Hollywood Women's Film Festival, La Femme International Film Festival, and Muestra de Cine Mujeres en Escena. She won the first place award in a Herbalife commercial contest in France in 2016 among more than 300 filmmakers. She was invited to be a Jury at the Short of the Year Film Festival in Spain and T.I.F.A – Tietê International Film Awards - in Brazil. Cabral has worked with well-known actors and athletes, including Jon Lovitz, Stephen Kramer Glickman, Ernest Thomas, Chris Elliott, Michael Madsen, and NFL football player, Tony Gonzales. Her talent for creativity and productivity leads her to work on feature films, short films, commercials, promos, and on-demand fitness content. Bruna is currently based in Los Angeles.
First of all, congratulations on your career! It's a pleasure talking to you! How has your relationship with cinema been throughout your life in Brazil and USA? Has it been changing?
I have loved movies since I was little. For less than two hours, you can be transported to another reality. Film is such a powerful thing and can take you anywhere. It takes us to a place that can be wonderful, dramatic, or emotional and makes us forget about our everyday life and get immersed in a story. I grew up watching movies with my friends and family and remember feeling inspired or moved by certain films. It was a passion for me in Brazil but not a career yet. Back there, I graduated from Law School and worked in the Legal Department of Globo, the largest multi-brand and diversified media conglomerate in Latin America. It worked well since I always had that strong interest in the Entertainment Industry. In 2014 I dared to switch careers and decided to be part of the culture of creativity, and my passion for movies led me to pursue a career in the film industry as a filmmaker and not a lawyer anymore. I graduated with both a Business and Management of Entertainment degree and a Producing and Directing degree from UCLA. Since then, I’ve worked on a variety of award-winning projects. The whole process has been so much fun, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with its challenges. I grew up a lot in a short period in my career and personal life to find myself inside the entertainment world. Overall, my experience has been amazing, and I can’t wait to see what else is around the corner. My advice would be to just go for it for anyone thinking about following this path. Passion, hard work, and determination will get you where you want to go.
How would you define your experience as a Producer? What things do you think you have found, and what have you lost along the way?
It’s helping me find myself and my voice. I have a passion for creating emotionally remarkable stories, and I keep my projects in this direction. I want my audience to be touched and moved by the story they are watching.
I learned to overcome challenges and developed my quick problem-solving skills. Productions don't go smoothly even if you put meticulous work into planning. The reality is that no matter what you do something out of your control will go wrong. I learned to have quick and decisive problem-solving skills to avoid delays and ensure deadlines were met when this happened. It's essential to allow challenges to help us grow as professionals. We always end up figuring out a solution.
I lost my fear of asking for help. At first, because I was new to the industry, I saw it as a sign of weakness but learned that by asking for help, I could be much more effective, efficient, and creative by reaching out to other people. Collaboration is the key to success.
I'm exhausted by the end of the day, but there is no feeling like watching your finished project screen for the first time. Whether my role was big or small, I always think, “I did that!” It will all have been worth it. The hard work is always worth it.
“Piece of Me” not only have you produced it, but you have written and directed it. Covering such complex areas must have been a challenge. How was it that you were encouraged to carry out this project?
Alzheimer’s disease is a subject that hits close to home as my beloved grandfather succumbed to it while my aunt is currently suffering from this degenerative condition. Its complex nature adversely inflicts emotional distress on loved ones mainly because they are commonly incognizant of the proper ways of coping with it. By telling this story through the eyes of an innocent child, I am able to shed light on its repercussions from a positive perspective and heartwarming approach by emphasizing the powerful message that love is unconditional and will always triumph over life’s adversities.
Tell us about the preparation processes of your projects. What were the most complex or difficult things you had to solve during filming (technically and/or emotionally)?
I always make sure I have the best crew and people that I trust. We're always surrounded by people who are constantly shaping the way that we act. Even if we do not realize it, other people’s behaviors will influence us and by making sure that I have the right crew on board for the project with me will give us a good chance of success.
Working in this industry is fun and worthwhile. I have funny, heartwarming, sad, and stressful stories. The most complex thing was when we had sexual harassment on set. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is common on many film sets, but this was the first time it happened on my set. We had our male Producer tell the offender to stop and that the offensive behavior was unwelcome. We wouldn't let him get close to any female crew and had someone scouting him all the time to avoid inappropriate behavior. A lot of attention has been paid to gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry since the Me Too movement. I hope together we can combat harassment in the entertainment industry and make it a safe workspace.
Are you preparing for the next project? What can you tell us?
Yes, I think as a creative person, I am always preparing for the next project. There are always ideas running through my mind, so it’s a matter of sorting through them and figuring out what I want to see materialized. I currently have a short-film script about epilepsy that I would like to turn into a feature film, and I am also in the middle of writing a romantic comedy - my favorite genre of films. They’re both in the very early stages, but it’s still fun to think about the future for projects like these.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak with you!
We will be attentive to your next work!
Madrid Film Awards I Press Team
You can find Bruna on her official websites: www.brunacabral.film www.pieceofmefilm.com
"Piece of Me" Trailer Official
"Ham on Rye" Trailer Official
"Headway" Trailer Official
"Tales of a Fifth Grade Robin Hood"
"TIVO football" Trailer Official