“For these characters, the materiality is so much of their essence,” says Alê Abreu, director of Boy and the World. “The mass which comes out of the pencil is part of the building block of each character.”
In the exclusive video below, viewers are treated to a behind-the-scene peek at the handmade craftsmanship involved in bringing the Academy Award-nominated Brazilian feature to life. “What I really wanted was a film anchored in the idea of very few digital elements,” says Abreu. “That is, to use lots of physical textures: collage, colored pencil, felt pens, Bic pens…painting of all types, watercolor, acrylic paint.”
Abreu’s garden of visual delights was guided by a desire to portray the story from the viewpoint of his film’s star, Cuca. “We were always certain that we were going to do this movie from the perspective of a child,” explains Abreu. “And through the process, [Cuca] discovers a world that slowly opens to him.”
Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Abreu and his small team of collaborators slowly filled in Cuca’s world with brilliant colors, dancing textures, and expressive lines. “As Cuca starts moving toward a knowledge of the things of this world built by men, newspaper clippings and magazines begin to cover this white, luminous and sacred space,” says Abreu. “This metaphor guided us throughout.”
Boy and the World expands into fifteen new U.S. and Canadian cities today, via its American distributor GKIDS. A complete list of theaters screening the film can be found at BoyAndTheWorldFilm.com.