40 days in the desert

A confident and unaware pastor receives the young influencer Gabriela for a live interview at his rehab therapeutic community. Together with Lucas the filmmaker, she tries to conduct a live broadcast, that will be interrupted with many surprises and revelations along the way.

  • Mauro Baptistella
    Ouvidos Calados, A mulher que se casou com Iauaretê, Minha vida de cineasta, Televício
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    40 dias no deserto
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  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 17, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    7,185 USD
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Director Biography - Mauro Baptistella

Mauro Baptistella is a director, screenwriter, and post-production director. With experience in composition, stop motion, animation, and post-production, he has participated in several national and international feature films. His goal is to combine these skills for new cinematic possibilities with narrative sensitivity.
In 2018, he released "Ouvidos Calados," his first feature film as a director. The project participated in several festivals, including the 41st Guarnicê Cinema Festival. He worked on the feature films "Dois Coelhos" (Best Visual Effects - Grand Brazilian Film Prize) and "Free Havana" (both in 2012), "Solace" (2015), "Mais Forte que o Mundo" (2016), "O Pântano do Morto" (in production), "Acampamento Intergalático" (2022), "Alice no mundo da internet" (2022), and "O Faixa Preta" (scheduled for 2023).
In short films, he directed "Televício" (1998), wrote and directed "Porto Feliz Terra das Monções" (1999), wrote and directed "Querida Mamãe," which was selected for the final of the Festival do Minuto in 2001, worked on the editing and post-production of "Revés de um parto" which was awarded at several festivals (2018), wrote and directed "A mulher que se casou com Iauaretê" (2021), wrote and directed "Minha vida de cineasta" (2022), wrote and directed "40 dias no deserto" (2022), and worked on the editing and post-production of "A sombra da terra" (2023).

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Director Statement

The region of Sorocaba, where I was born, was one of the largest psychiatric hospital hubs in Brazil, with up to seven major psychiatric hospitals. In 2011, a survey was released showing a mortality rate above average in these hospitals: lack of adequate treatment, mistreatment and even hypothermia. The largest psychiatric hospital in the city had its last patients removed in 2018. However, during the Bolsonaro government, the advances of psychiatric reform suffered a major setback. Worse yet, we can consider that psychiatric hospitals are returning in the form of therapeutic communities, bringing back the same violence and neglection seen before.
The project was created based on research and journalistic articles, exposing the violence used in religious therapeutic communities, very similar to the typical mistreatment of asylums. Deaths have been reported.
The goal is to denounce the abuses currently committed by some of these communities, to fight against torture, and to highlight the importance of human rights.
The idea of the film is to generate increasing tension during a live broadcast, where a faithful person enters the evangelical community of the pastor and adverse things are revealed. Like a real news story, the two characters, Pastor Adamantino and the naive Gabriela, reveal and transform themselves when confronted with the hidden realities of a supposedly religious place.
The camera is also a character, operated by Lucas, it seeks to show everything that catches the eye.