Ceremony director Fernando Meirelles is impressed with the size of the event: “I’ve never done anything on this scale”


By Evandreia Buosi

7/18/2016 – 6:15 pm


The award winning director of films like City of God comments on his work for the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the transformational power of sports.


Fernando Meirelles, 60, one of the most famous Brazilian film directors, is one of the directors of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This Monday, July 18, however, he left the preparations for a few hours to participate in another warmup to the competition: the Olympic Torch Relay in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo. “It was very fun, very light. I’ve been involved with this for so long and carrying the torch was another step in this process,” he says.


Meirelles is feeling anxious as the Games near. Alongside Andrucha Waddington, Daniela Thomas and Rosa Magalhaes, he’s responsible for preparing the opening ceremony for the largest sporting event in the world. For a master of audiovisual production for TV screens and cinema, creating a ceremony in the vast space of Maracana – in front of a live audience – is different and challenging.


“I´ve never done anything on this scale, and I never will again in my lifetime. Everything is very large; the stage is very large and 3 billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony. It´s an enormous responsibility,” he tells us. The director believes that Brazil will have its best Olympic performance ever during these Games. A sports enthusiast, Meirelles believes in Rio 2016 as a tool for transformation. “It certainly unifies people, and encourages peace. The Games were created for this, and I think they really do help,” he concludes.