:: Alessandra Nilo

A Country Doctor will have its world premiere at the Tallahassee International Film Festival. It will take place at the capital of Florida from April 8 to 11.

Claudio Fernandes and Alessandra Nilo, producers, will represent the film and participating in the program of the festival, which focuses on “contributing to the economic development of the film industry worldwide.” The film was selected for the Dark Shorts Program, alongside 25 other short narrative films. It is the only short fiction film representing Latin America in the official competition.

Alfredo Borba (Dr. Samuel Baum), Rodrigo Gomes (Toin d’Quinca), Soraya Silva (Rosa).

After Tallahasse, Ms. Nilo will go to New York as part of her international activist work while the director will go to the hometown of a king of the American Republic, Elvis Presley, where the film will screen at the famous On Location: Memphis International Film Festival, 22-25 April, this year is in its eleventh edition.

From Tennessee, Mr. Fernandes returns to Recife, landing directly on the XIV Cine-PE, where A Country Doctor makes its national premiere. This is one of the most important festivals in the country calendar. It happens between April 26th and May 2nd. The short film, selected for the official 35mm program, is scheduled to screen on May 1st , International Labor Day, a Saturday. Actually, a perfect evening to forget work and just enjoy a good movie.

Check this out…




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Rated: Parental Advisory Suggested | Running Time: 21 minutes (00:21)

2009, Brazil, In Portuguese with English subtitles, Color

Type: Official Selection – Narrative Short

Category: Narrative Short | Genres: Drama, Horror


Adapted from Franz Kafka’s short story, the film shows the psychological tension of a night gone awry for a lonely bourgeois Jewish doctor suddenly called to attend an urgent medical matter in a poor farmer’s Catholic family in the Brazilian Northeast.



Film poster

Photo: Alessandra Nilo | Design: Claudio Fernandes

First 35mm print

Primeira cópia em 35mm de Um Médico Rural.

All done. We have the first 35mm print, with Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 and Dolby Stereo sound.

I arrived about a month ago with the copy in my hands, but due to other professional engagements, we ended up delaying the distribution phase of the film. We have already started submitting it to national and international film festivals.

Next week we will hold an avant premiere for cast, crew and friends, all dying of curiosity to watch it projected. It will be fun.

Pretty soon we will post a trailer of the film in here.

Please come back to check on the news.

It was interesting how it all happened very fast. After quoting prices in Brasil, we decided it would be perfect to return to sucha a familiar place to finish A Country Doctor. San Francisco, warm and cold city by the bay, clear and hidden by the fog that assails its summers.

From the moment we made the decision on, we had one week to finish sound design and prepare the ProTools session for the final Dolby surround mix.

Rafael Travassos e Nicolau Domingues organizando arquivo da sessão de design de som na noite anterior à viagem internacional.
Rafael Travassos and Nicolau Domingues, Sound8, organizing the sound design session in the night before my going to California.

. . .

Arriving in San Francisco is just like going back home. Here I lived for many years, here I broadened my knowledge to prepare me in the path of film making, of taking to the big screen a spectacle of entertainment and reflection. It is an effect caused by film magic, since its beginnings, affecting through enchant and seduction, telling stories in motion pictures that generate passionate responses.

I stay at a friend’s house, where I lived for a while before marrying and moving to Recife. I arrive with a portable digital moviola (PowerBook G4 and HD) in an office where I make last adjustments on titles and credits.

O cinema viaja e parte da pós-produção pode se instalar em qualquer espaço.
Cinema travels and part of the post-production can be done anywhere.

. . .

I arrived in a surprisingly sunny sunday for this time of year in the City. From the plane window I saw the immense fog bank that covered the entire west coast north of Santa Barbara, nevertheless when I arrived I  faced warmth in the Mission neighborhood.

. . .

Rua onde moro em San Francisco.
Street where I live in San Francisco. Check out the gorgeous California blue sky.

. . .

Monday morning I woke up to the more usual humid and cold fog of the summer in the bay. As I had planned, I arrived at Monaco Labs with a terabyte in hand, ready to start the work.


Monaco Labs, nona rua entre Folsom e Howard ao sul da Market.
Monaco Labs, ninth between Folsom and Howard, South of Market. Check the fog dissipating reflected on the windows.


Jim Moye, supervisor de pós-produção em transferência de HD para película.

Jim Moye, post-production supervisor.

Jim Moye, post-production supervisor, was surprised to see me with a terabyte in a groceries paper bag. We met again after our first contact a year earlier. He remembered me when he saw me. We briefly talked about the process before getting started. I was to prepare the edited film and render it entirely uncompressed without any filters or color correction values. It took me about two and half hours to clean the file up, taking off credits and titles. That’s it. Right at this moment it is the very last revision I would make in the cut. I reviewed it once more and moved on.

The file was saved as QuickTime, but we later converted it to the Cineon platform to change the luminance and chrominance linear information of the digital image into the logarithmic film LUT (look up table) that monitors the color levels to film standards, what in digital is trillions of colors. My PowerBookG4 was incapable of opening any frame of Cineon 2K.

Once the picture was in high resolution, it is imported in a DI (digital intermediate) tool called Scratch. Then we were ready to start the delicate and precise process of color correcting all scenes of the film, converting from the hard and linear digital format to the soft presence of the image in celluloid.


Alfredo Borba e Maju passam por correção de cor.
Alfredo Borba and Maju go through color correction. Scratch’s interface.


While I started working with the images, I had to produce the finishing of the sound mix. I’d already known that the sound laboratory would be NT Audio in Los Angeles, but I still didn’t know where I would revise the sound design and do the final 5.1 surround mix to be encoded into Dolby digital. I would finish the sound job with an MO Disc (magneto-optic disc) ready to send to L.A.

After some producing, I opted for Outpost Studios, Dolby certified and only a few blocks from Dolby headquarters. At the same time I contacted the Dolby licensing department in LA to secure the permission to mix the sound in this industry standard format. We feel A Country Doctor does deserve a high quality sound.


Dave Nelson, experiente designer de som do Outpost Studios.
Dave Nelson, experienced sound designer at Outpost Studios.


Dave worked for a day organizing the file to be mixed as 5.1 surround and adding extra sound design. Sound8 did a beautiful job recording, designing the sound scapes and the soundtrack of the film, a great challenge to have as first job a demanding piece such as A Country Doctor.


Revisando mais uma vez antes de fazer a impressão para o MO Disc.

Reviewing one more time before printing it to the MO Disc.


Once finished with the sound mix, we continued to work on color correction. Consistency, density, balance, contrast, brightness.

After a week of gray days, the sun started shining intensely throughout the week and the big blue sky came bringing happiness to the city. The fog is gone in what can be called a truly summer week. But me, I go to the lab to finish the work I came here for.


Esquina da 21 com Folsom, onde pego o transporte público para o laboratório.

Folsom street looking downtown, where I take the bus to the lab. Look at the brown building on the right in the next photo.


Em frente à entrada do laboratório Monaco.

In front of Monaco Labs on 9th.

The blue sky of this place awes me. Its sovereign presence animates the thinking process of whom admires it for its magnificence.

I have come to Monaco Labs for two weeks to prepare the film to transfer to 35mm. We will end up with two copies for public screening in theaters and film festivals.

After a whole year in process (pre, production and post), decisions taken at this moment is particularly critical. In fact, after watching Um Médico Rural so many times, and always having my memory as reference, I now understand how critical every decision is in every step for making the film.

I think I feel pleased with the result we will have in hands to project. The challenges I proposed myself to face were overcome . The work with both the crew and the cast was gratifying and empowering throughout.

I thank all the people who helped to take Um Médico Rural to the screens of the world.


Um dos últimos Palácios do Cinema nos Estados Unidos, o Castro Theatre.

One of the last movie palaces in the US, the Castro Theater.

Adapted screenplay

The screenplay for A Country Doctor is an adaptation of Kafka’s delirious tale to film. The challenge in writing the script was to tell a story, that in its original is absolutely subjective, without the use of voice over. The action is what should conduct the narrative and suggest the original psychological state of the protagonist.

The film

A 21 minutes fiction film (35mm) based on a story by Franz Kafka entitled “Ein Landarzt.” Written and directed by Claudio G. Fernandes and produced by Alessandra Nilo. The production of the film has been possible through a grant from the Petrobras Cultural Program.


A country doctor receives an urgent call to treat a patient at night. With the help of strangers he sets off and the night unfolds as if it were a nightmare.


Alfredo Borba como Dr. Samuel Baum.

Alfredo Borba as the country doctor Samuel Baum.


A messenger Tonho D’Quinca arrives with the news that a rural labourer called Zeca de Balu living on the other side of the hills is at death’s door.


Rodrigo Gomes como o mensageiro Tonho D'Quinca.

Rodrigo Gomes as the mesenger Tonho D'Quinca.


The rain stops and the maid Rosa goes out to get a horse to hasten the doctor’s journey to the patient’s home. To her surprise she finds two horses in the stable neither of which belongs to the doctor.


Soraya Silva como Rosa.

Soraya Silva as Rosa.


But the horses did not show up by themselves, they were brought by a ragged stranger with a mad gaze.


Tiago Glasner como Chico, el bruto.

Tiago Glasner as Chico, el bruto, and the mare Miranda.


Once the doctor arrives at the patient’s house, he is received by a tense and worrisome atmosphere. Parents, friends and their children are specially curious about the doctor’s arrival at the packed small room.


Josiane, Gabi, Alex Brito, Álvaro Heleno (Balu), Júlia e Janice (esq–dir).

Josiane, Gabi, Alex Brito, Álvaro Heleno (Balu), Júlia and Janice.


Ceça tries and calms down Zeca’s deliriousness, but clueless before the illness that condemns the patient. She will be of great help to doctor Baum.

Agrinez Melo, Ceça e Chico Domingues como o paciente Zeca de Balu.

Agrinez Melo, Ceça, and Chico Domingues as the patient Zeca de Balu.