Academy Award-nominated Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles at TIFF 2019

Senior Director Diana Sanchez lead the Master Class Conference with Fernando Meirelles

By Ingrid Coifman  & Leila Monteiro Lins | Published 20/09/2019

In a conversation with industry peers on September 10 in Toronto , Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles opened up about the important role of filmmakers in unstable times, his love of farming and obsession with the climate crisis.

The Brazilian director released his most recent film during the Festival, Netflix’s The Two Popes, which focuses on the relationship between Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce).

The Two Popes is Meirelles’ first time working with the streaming giant Netflix. According to him, The Vatican was not involved in the production, which replicated parts of Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, including a life-size Sistine Chapel, and used CGI for scenes in St Peter’s Square.


“They were very secretive. But I really tried to avoid it feeling like two institutions. I wanted to make the story really personal. It’s just two old men who happen to be the Pope and the Cardinal”, said the director.



He also discussed his work as a producer in The Great Green Wall, an eco-documentary that premiered in Venice last month. The film focuses on the plan agreed by 11 African nations to plant 8,000 km of trees and vegetation across the Sahel, located below the Sahara Desert. It will also screen to 150 heads of state at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York later this month.

For his next project, Meirelles is collaborating with City of God’s screenwriter Braulio Mantovani on a movie about climate change expected to shoot next year.

Ingrid Coifman

Ingrid is a journalist who specializes in Technology, economics, and tourism.

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