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Rudy Mancuso on telling a Brazilian-American story in Musicá with girlfriend Camila Mendes

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Not only is Música Rudy Mancuso’s directorial debut, it’s also the film where he met his girlfriend, Camila Mendes, who co-stars alongside him and serves as a producer.

Mancuso got his start as a creator on Vine, where he found “reasons to tell little stories in some way,” he told ABC Audio. “I was in love with film and music and film music for as long as I can remember, before I learned the language of the internet or was on the grid at all.”

His experience on Vine, then YouTube, brought him to LA, where he was suddenly surrounded by creatives working in film and TV.

“I didn’t know how I would get there. But I knew that one day I had to get to a place where I could make my film. And it just so happened to work,” Mancuso said of Música, a coming-of-age romance about a Brazilian-American college student. 

Another thing that worked was getting his top-choice actress for his character’s love interest in Mendes.

“She’s fantastically talented, beautiful inside and out. What I didn’t expect was how strong of a producer she was too,” Mancuso said. “She’s so lovable and natural and grounded and inviting and warm. And that’s exactly what the character is meant to evoke.”

Ultimately, it was the lack of Brazilian-American and synesthesia representation in mainstream film and TV that drove Mancuso to make Música.

“In this film, I had the opportunity to do both,” Mancuso said. “Brazilian culture is so specific and so nuanced, and the country is massive, and the people are so beautiful and passionate. For some reason it’s not represented in mainstream as frequently as it should … Cami and I got really excited about being able to do that in an authentic way.”

Música is available to stream Thursday on Prime Video.

 

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