A wronged visionary gathers a group of nothings-to-lose to rob an exec at the heart of the largest corruption scandal in Brazilian history.

  • Juliana Castello da Costa
  • Project Type:
    Student, Screenplay, Television Script
  • Genres:
    Heist, Drama, Crime, Family Drama
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Fordham University
  • Fordham University Communication and Media Studies Scholarships
    New York, NY
    May 12, 2022
    2022 William F. DiPietra Award in Screenwriting
Writer Biography - Juliana Castello da Costa

Juliana Castello da Costa, 21, is a Brazilian-American screenwriter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who now studies Film and TV at Fordham University in New York. She grew up in the mountainous Atlantic forest landscape in Teresopolis, Rio de Janeiro, writing and producing short films with friends, and composing and recording original music in English and Portuguese. Now at Fordham, Juliana has won a prestigious university award for a Succession spec, and she also performs in sketch and improv comedy and leads a small independent music distributor for students. Her passion is telling heart-racing stories about Brazil.

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Writer Statement

As a Brazilian specifically from Rio, I have a direct connection to the culture I am portraying (the food, the natural landscape, the mannerisms). I have a more indirect connection with the real-life corruption scandal to which I allude in my story: I was a young teen when the corruption scandal of the 2010s unfolded, and I remember trying to understand the complex nuances of the private and public involvements in the corruption. I felt it would be a fascinating inspiration for (highly fictionalized) La Casa de Papel-style heist drama.

I find now a good moment to tell this story because the heist genre has been making a comeback lately (La Casa de Papel, Kaleidoscope, Lupin) and I believe I offer a very fresh yet classical take on the genre as a Brazilian writing a morally gray Robin Hood / David-vs-Goliath heist story set in Brazil, alluding to an fascinatingly intricate corruption scandal that did not really get explored in depth outside Brazil.