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One-on-one with Daniel Soares: Exploring the Dilemmas of Gentrification and Destruction in "Bad for a Moment"

Congratulations on receiving the Short Film Special Distinction at Cannes for "Bad for a Moment." Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this film?

Daniel Soares: Thank you. The inspiration for "Bad for a Moment" came from observing two seemingly unrelated phenomena: the rising popularity of 'Rage Rooms' and the persistent issue of gentrification. I was struck by the idea of people paying to destroy things for fun, while on the other hand, entire communities are being 'destroyed' through the process of gentrification. This juxtaposition of destruction for amusement versus destruction for profit felt like a compelling narrative to explore.

The film centers around Adriano, an architect involved in gentrification. How did you develop his character and his internal conflict?

Daniel Soares: Adriano's character is a representation of many professionals today who find themselves caught between their livelihoods and their moral values. He is talented and successful, designing luxury apartments that contribute to the gentrification of underdeveloped neighborhoods in Lisbon. Despite knowing that his work displaces lower-income residents, he continues because of the financial benefits. Adriano’s internal conflict is something many people can relate to – the struggle of reconciling one's actions with their conscience. This modern-day helplessness and the rationalization of one's role in systemic issues are central themes in the film.

Can you elaborate on the connection between the team-building event and the broader themes of the film?

Daniel Soares: The team-building event is a pivotal moment in the film. It brings the characters, particularly Adriano, face-to-face with the consequences of their work. These events, like 'Car Smash' venues, are marketed as a way to relieve stress and build camaraderie, but they also symbolize the underlying aggression and disconnection from the real impact of their actions. By placing Adriano in a lower-class neighborhood his company is gentrifying, the film highlights the stark contrast between his professional life and the reality of those affected by his work. It forces him to confront the ethical implications of his actions in a very direct way.

What message do you hope audiences take away from "Bad for a Moment"?

Daniel Soares: I hope the film encourages audiences to reflect on their own roles within larger societal systems. It's easy to go along with what the system asks of us, even when it goes against our moral beliefs. The film questions how long we can deceive ourselves and ignore the impact of our actions on others. I want viewers to consider the human cost of progress and to recognize that while we might be able to deceive the world, we cannot deceive our own conscience. Ultimately, it's about facing the reality of our contributions to societal issues and finding a way to align our actions with our values.

Your filmography includes several acclaimed short films. How does "Bad for a Moment" fit into your body of work?

Daniel Soares: "Bad for a Moment" continues my exploration of complex human experiences and social issues. My previous films have also dealt with themes of identity, morality, and the consequences of our actions. This film, in particular, delves into the ethical dilemmas faced by individuals in modern society. It aligns with my interest in storytelling that challenges viewers to think critically about their own lives and the world around them.

Can you tell us more about your background and how it influences your filmmaking?

Daniel Soares: I was born in Germany but grew up in Portugal, which has given me a unique perspective on different cultures and social dynamics. My experiences living in diverse environments have influenced my storytelling, allowing me to approach universal themes with a nuanced perspective. Additionally, my work in photography has sharpened my visual storytelling skills, which I bring into my films. My goal is always to create compelling narratives that resonate on a personal and societal level.

What are your future projects and aspirations as a filmmaker?

Daniel Soares: I am currently developing my debut feature film, "900 Toneladas," which has been selected for the European feature film development program LIM|Less is more. This project continues to explore themes of social justice and personal responsibility. Looking ahead, I aspire to create more films that provoke thought and inspire change, and to continue pushing the boundaries of storytelling in both short and feature-length formats.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

Daniel Soares: I would like to thank the audience for their support and engagement with my work. Films are a powerful medium for sparking conversations and fostering understanding, and I hope "Bad for a Moment" contributes to these important discussions. I encourage everyone to look critically at the world around them and to consider how their actions can make a difference.


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