If you were to wring out the rankings of the World Tour at the moment, drips of green and yellow would pool at your feet. Brazil is on the rise. You could even argue that it has already risen. The #brazilianstorm reference has beaten into our heads like the chorus of T Swift’s newest single — it’s only slightly less melodic, but it does better airs. We’ve seen plenty of coverage on the storm, but only noting their presence in competitive surfing.
Lately, however, it seems like some Brazilians have ditched the mold of a headphone-rocking contest surfer and hit a stride in fun-loving creativity and expression – replacing the plaid cargo shorts with skinny jeans and that serious scowl with a cheek–wrinkled grin. In the midst of this sub-cultural shift is Brazilian filmmaker Gabriel Novis. Gabriel is currently making a movie featuring a crop of the country’s most electrifying up-and-comers, including the contagious characters of Victor Bernardo and Yago Dora. It’ll soon be apparent that Brazil not only produces some of the most driven competitive surfers in the world, but also some of the most invigorating, happy-go-lucky freesurfers. Here, we give you an exclusive preview of the upcoming film, as well as Gabriel’s insights on the project entitled “Sorriso” – which, quite fittingly, means “Smile” in Portuguese. –Dayton SilvaVideo: Gabriel Novis. Yuri Goncalves. Photo: Paola Correa
So Gabriel, this movie is about Yago and Victor, correct?
Well, the movie is with all the Brazilian storm. The surfers are Filipe Toledo, Yuri Gonçalves, Yago Dora, Victor Bernardo, Tomas Hermes, Jesse Mendes, Ian Gouveia, Marco Fernadez, Caio Ibelli, Alejo Muniz, Gabriel Andre, Icaro Rodrigues, William Cardoso and many others that we are trying to arrange sessions with and add to the project. So far we’ve got footage from Brazil, California and Mexico. We are a planning a trips to Nicaragua and Indo, but I don’t know what’s next after that.
So what’s the story behind the title? What’s the reference?
It means smile in Portuguese, and the reason for that is because I want to show the energy that Brazilian surf has. Not in a cliche way — it’s about the guys having fun mixed with a few artistic shots that really don’t have much meaning. I am trying to put together images that look nice and objects or actions that are related to the act of smile (ex: teeth, tongue, mouth, food, etc.)
Do you see this movie as maybe something along the lines of say a Kai Neville film, but maybe the Brazilian version?
I look up to Kai’s work, but I don’t want to copy it. I’ve been studying and working with cinema so I’m trying to pull out a little bit out of everything that inspires me (not only surf stuff), and mix it with the vibe and the happiness of the Brazilian people.
What’s the best practical joke you’ve seen someone pull on a surf trip?
Haha.. I dont know if you’ve ever traveled with Victor, but if you did you would understand what an overdose of jokes he is. He’s a non-stop clown and gives so much energy to the trip that it’s hard to ever get mad at him.
Do you expect the movie to be well-received in America?
We’re starting to get exposure in American media nowadays, but there are so many talented surfers and artists in Brazil. Guys like Victor and Yago are proof. These kids are on the next level of having fun and ripping. I hope that this movie will show the world how much fun we can have and give exposure to other guys that are not as well-known out of Brazil.