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Fernando Meirelles was recently an Academy Award nominee for Best Director, for his work on City of God. The feature adaptation of Paulo Lins' novel Cidade de Deus, co-produced by Walter Salles' Video Filmes, also received Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay (Bráulio Mantovani), Best Cinematography (César Charlone), and Best Film Editing (Daniel Rezende). The film won more than 50 awards around the world.
Born in Brazil, Mr. Meirelles attended university there, graduating with a degree in architecture. While at school, he made his first experimental productions, using U-Matic equipment and working with a crew composed of friends. The resulting projects won several prizes at the country's earliest independent video festivals.
With the same group of friends, he founded the innovative studio Olhar Eletrônico (Electronic Glance), bringing new life to Brazilian TV in the 1980s. For a decade, the group produced a variety of programs for stations. In 1989, Mr. Meirelles created and directed the popular children's series Rá-Tim-Bum, for Brazilian public television. The 190-episode series received the Gold Medal from the New York Film and Television Festival, in addition to numerous other awards.
He then began directing commercials and promotional videos. His independent studio, O2 Filmes, became the largest in Brazil and, over a 10-year period, received the most prestigious national and international prizes, including five Cannes Lions, several Clios, and nine Professional of the Year awards.
In 1997, Mr. Meirelles directed his first feature film, O Menino Maluquinho (Wacky, Wacky Boy), with Fabrizia Pinto. In 2000, he directed the "Palace II" ("Golden Gate") episode of the television series Brava Gente Brasileira as a "rehearsal" for City of God. "Palace II" was re-edited as a short, and received the Best Short Film prize in the Panorama Section of the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival, among other honors.
Also in 2000, he directed his second feature film, Domesticas (Maids), with director Nando Olival, which was selected for competition at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Following the success of City of God, O2 Filmes has teamed with Globo Television to produce five episodes annually of the follow-up television series Cidade dos Homens (City of Men). Mr. Meirelles produces all of the show's episodes and has also directed several of them.
He is in development on a new film, Intolerance, and is producing films from first-time Brazilian directors.