By Lydia Schoonderbeek and Hilary Diack
Put together two people with an adventurous spirit, a passion for travel, and a love of music (and a fair measure of talent) and you get a unique concept that has everyone sitting up and taking notice. Cairo West Magazine caught up with filmmakers Diana Boccara and Leo Longo during their recent visit to Egypt.
CWM: Diana, how did the idea for Around the World in 80 Music Videos originate?
Both Leo and I have strong backgrounds in TV production and screenwriting in Brazil, our home country, especially in reality shows.
We always wanted to work on a project of our own. After a road trip we did in the south of the USA last year we came back with the idea to keep travelling and to work with music. We ended up combining our expertise on filmmaking with travelling and music and that led us to the perfect final visual material, the music video. We also wanted to create and to establish a new way of working, that would not involve any currency exchange, just collaboration between artists and filmmakers around the world.
Have you been surprised by the level of talent you have come across while travelling from country to country?
We were expecting to find great music and artists all over the world but what came as a surprised to us is to find out that everywhere we go, there are great musicians willing to collaborate with us and to participate on our project.
What have been stand-out moments?
One moment that was extremely important for us was how we got the location to shoot Cairokee’s music video. It’s always very difficult to find locations for the music videos because we don’t speak the language and we don’t know anyone or anywhere in the cities we visit. In Cairo, we didn’t have a place to shoot the video till one day before the actual shoot. A blogger we came across offered his building rooftop, without even knowing that the band was going to be Cairokee or without having met us before. And, besides being an amazing human being, Mahmoud is also a great photographer who did all the pictures for the shoot.
How was your experience in Cairo?
Unfortunately, we are always running against time to accomplish everything. We wish we could have seen more of Cairo. Way more. But we did get to see the Pyramids, something unforgettable and an experience of a lifetime. Our time in Cairo was very special to us, specially to me. My father was born in Cairo back in the 40’s and I have been listening to his stories about his childhood in Egypt all my life. And we had a great time with Cairokee and the challenges we had to produce a music video in a city we knew NO ONE!
Why did you decide to work with Cairokee (and how did you get in touch)?
During our research of bands in the Middle East we came across Cairokee. And we fell in love with their music, and their attitude as a band. So, Leo wrote to them, just to congratulate the band on their music and see if they would come on board, not expecting really that they would answer. They did, and the answer was yes.
How many countries have you visited till now and which has been your favourite?
We’ve started the project in Brazil, where we shot 10 music videos with Brazilian bands. Then, we went to Portugal, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, Russia and soon India. So, so far, 12 countries. Then we will go to Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico and South America. It’s hard to say what were our favorite countries, because all of them have something. But so far I would say that Portugal, Egypt and Russia have been the ones where we have made great friends.
Why is this project important to you and Leo?
Filmmakers and artists around the world have the power to influence others and to inspire the world around them to live a better life. With the project, we are building a collaborative network of artists, musicians and filmmakers around the world, bringing different cultures together through music and film, besides exploring the world, not as tourists, but as locals.