PUMA and ASOS Black Visit the Favelas and Graffiti Artists of Brazil in ‘Os Pixadores’
“The only way to push forward is to risk something important.” After catching a glimpse of the trailer a few weeks ago, PUMA and ASOS Black have unveiled the full-length film Os Pixadores that follows the “Pixadores” graffiti artists of Brazil as they put it all on the line within the favelas of the city and throughout Sao Paolo, Brazil. Using their art as a voice, Pixadores find their stride in the risk afforded by scaling new heights and emblazoning their tags in various localities throughout the city that effectively give a voice to those to whom society has ignored. With assistance by PUMA and ASOS Black, London-based filmmaker Ben Newman and his crew traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil to follow various Pixa artists as they paint the city with their recognizable, runic graffiti.
Great to meet you. Can you introduce yourself for our readers?
My name is Ben Newman, I’m a film director from London.
What was the concept behind the film?
The concept was to poetically and cinematically highlight an emerging subculture called Pixação – a graffiti art form found in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I wanted to show people the lengths Pixadores (the artists) go to, to be heard. It’s something that has been around for a while really — young people ignored by society, finding ways to give themselves a voice. In this case the voice is heard at the top of skyscrapers… where you can’t escape it… it’s genius.
What was it like shooting on location in Brazil?
Brazil is a stunning place to shoot. The people are amazing and the general geography is mind-blowing. It’s one of the most culturally diverse places I’ve ever been. So many realities in one big melting pot.
Did you encounter any difficulties when filming?
We spent a lot of our time in the favelas, researching and meeting with the artists. On a couple of occasions we had to be rushed out — shootings, killings and violent disputes are an hourly thing there. One second everyone is out, happy faces, incredible color and energy — the next, the place is deserted and a sense of danger washes over you. It’s a volatile place to work, even more so to live.
How does the video embody PUMA and ASOS?
I think after being with both brands internally and having spent time with their creative departments there is a common understanding and excitement with the blind faith and committed direction young people are living their lives. The film shows a very raw version of this but hopefully lets people know, these guys are going to keep pushing things forward with or without acceptance. It’s bold. It’s a great time for young people to realize their ideas in front of a global audience… and that’s exactly what we’ve done with Os Pixadores…