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HFPA in Conversation: Diego Freitas Reveals His Dark Side In His Art

Mysteries have always interested Brazilian filmmaker Diego Freitas. He tells HFPA journalist Ana Maria Bahiana that he chose film thrillers and horror movies because they aren’t as expensive as fantasy. His first feature film, My Dead Ones is a story about a film student (Nicolas Prattes) who is also a serial killer. 

“In real life, I’m generally a very positive and solid person but my art, it’s the place that I put all my dark side and it’s very therapeutic. But looking back I see another Diego who made this film, a Diego who I think no longer exists today.”

He has noticed that all his films have a little bit of himself. “Not that I am a serial killer or anything like that. But when I wrote this story I was at the age of 21. I moved out from my parent’s house when I was 18 to try my luck in a big city. I got a scholarship and I went without fear and without a dollar in my pocket and with the dream of becoming a filmmaker.”

He learned a lot about himself during those years. “This journey brought me many discoveries about life, death, and my sexuality. At the same time, it brought me a huge understanding of my family’s power over me. At the same time that I love them, I wanted to distance myself from them. My mom was a seamstress and my father a barber and art has never been a subject in my home.”

My Dead Ones is also a story about a boy who tries to be accepted by his family. Freitas describes it as a different kind of Brazilian movie. “We have a lot of art-house films that were successful in festivals around the world. And we also have popular commercial films like comedies and soap operas. But a thriller in a commercial way with a big star doesn’t happen all the time.” 

Listen to the podcast and hear when he knew he wants to be a filmmaker and when he started to work in the movie industry and how was his experience; how he cast his leading actor for My Dead OnesWay Back Home