2013, March / Fight for Peace

Luta Pela Paz

(Documentary, 22 min.)
Production Company: Brandsome
Author: Boris Werschbizky
Broadcasted on Sport 1 in 2013
Shot on Sony XDCAM HD and Canon 5D MkII
In February 2013 Producer Bobby Werschbizky of Brandsome Munich invited me to a promising mission: shooting a behind-the-scenes report during the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Rio de Jainero - which is, to be honest, a very nice job that can be done straightforwardly.
Far more challenging was the second and even longer shoot he had planned for our trip to Rio: "Luta Pela Paz - Fight for Peace", a social project situated in the favelas of Complexo da Maré, one of the biggest group of favelas in the city. A place where young people are affected by armed violence and isolated by the invisible barriers of drug trafficking. The fact that, globally, more young people die as a result of these problems in their communities than in well known conflict or war zones really blew my mind.

Fight for Peace, founded by the charismatic social anthropologist and boxer Luke Dowdney, tries to change all that in a sustainable way: it uses boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development to realize the potential of young people in the communities. The project follows an holistic, open access philosophy, it offers training on Boxing, Capoeira, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and sophisticated educational lessons to young people ranging from 7 to 29 years old. I really can not tell what has impressed me more, the great achievements Luke Dowdney and his awesome team have already made or the obliging way our protagonists dealt with us: Antonio "Gibi" Cruz, the boxing coach, Jarde Lopes, who wants to be a musician one day, the 13 year old Judo talent Lucas and his charming family. Roberto Custodio, who has put his tragic childhood behind him and is now a member of the olympic brazilian boxing team. All of them made our stay at "Luta Pela Paz" an amazing and inspiring experience I won´t forget.