In 1981, in Olinda, in the Northeast of Brazil, Amin Stepple Hiluey (1950-2019) started the production of 
a short film in super-8 called “The Arrival of the Ghost Train at Serra da Borborema Station”. Starring Ana Farache, it would be a tribute to the actresses of old cinema with whom the director fell in love, when he saw them as a teenager on the screens of his hometown, Campina Grande. Unfortunately the film was not completed at the time. Almost 40 years later, after a mysterious dream in which Amin Stepple recounted them scene by scene how the film should have been, Paulo Cunha and Ivan Cordeiro, two of his old friends, decide to go back to the original images — which Ivan himself had photographed four decades ago — and “completing” the project, as told in the dream. They called the work a “transcreation". It is a legitimate, affective and anarchic super-8, just like the ones that were made in the Northeast of Brazil during the military dictatorship.

  • Amin Stepple Hiluey
  • Paulo Cunha
  • Ivan Fernandes Cordeiro
  • Ana Farache
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 20, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 8
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Amin Stepple Hiluey

Journalist, critic, screenwriter and director Amin Stepple Hiluey had a profound impact on experimental cinema in Northeast Brazil. Born in 1950, in Campina Grande, Paraíba, as a teenager Amin became the curator of the Cineclube Glauber Rocha and was one of the producers of the program on Rádio Caturité, on Sunday afternoons, called "Sétima Arte". In 1971, at the height of the military dictatorship, Amin Stepple moved to Recife, where he worked for many months as a commercial representative for pharmaceutical companies.

In 1973, he started the Journalism Course at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, where he approached the group of young people who would adopt the Super-8 as a means of expression. He was the screenwriter of the short film “That's What It Is”, directed in 1974 by Geneton Moraes Neto. A year later, he made his first individual short, “Tempo Nublado”. Two shorts that Amin Stepple made in 1976 already explore his interest in understanding the strength of commercial cinema: “Robin Hollywood” and “P.S. A kiss".

In the third year of the Journalism Course, Amin Stepple decides to interrupt graduation to attend the Free Film Course at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. However, in 1977, the difficulties of survival in Rio made him return to Pernambuco, settling in Olinda, still in 1977. He resumed his Journalism course and started working as a reporter for Diario de Pernambuco. He then directs “The slow, safe, gradual and relative striptease of Zé Fusquinha” (1978), “Creuzinha is not yours anymore” (1979) and the unfortunately unfinished “The Ghost Train Arrival at Serra da Borborema Station” (1980).

In 1982, Amin Stepple becomes news editor at Rede Globo Nordeste. He produces, even in the context of commercial television journalism, several experimental videos: “Paulo Bruscky - Bruxo e Inventor (1983), “O Incredible Rucker Vieira” (1984), “Edy Clínio, o Conde do Rock” (1984) and “Carnaval no Mangue - Siri na Lata 87” (1987, in partnership with Ana Farache).

It was while working in television that Amin Stepple approached filmmaker and critic Fernando Spencer to create, in 1993, a series of short programs called “Cinema Pernambucano —70 anos”. This material is later assembled and re-edited to give rise to the documentary “Ciclo — História de amor em 16 frames per second” (with Fernando Spencer, 1999).

Alongside Lírio Ferreira, he scripted and directed “That’s a Lero-Lero”, filmed in 16mm, and recounting Orson Welles’ visit to Recife in July 1942. Later, he wrote the scripts for the feature films “Árido Movie” (2005), by Lírio Ferreira, “A História de um Valente” (2009), by Claudio Barroso, “País do Destino” (2011), by Paulo Caldas, and “Rossellini loved Dona Bombom's pension" (in 2011, with Paulo Caldas, never performed).

Amin Stepple was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and passed away on December 25, 2019 at the age of 69.

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