To tell the story of Fernando Centeio, I start in the first person. Because that’s how it all began, because of the impact that that smiling, disarmingly friendly guy had on me.
I had just moved to a new office in Alto de São João, and everything had that aspect of a bubbling creative center, where I imagined people extroverted and enthusiastic about their art, much more than people enclosed in offices, with an emaciated tone, and eyes fixed on the time to leave.
I (and I emphasize, this incursion into the first person is really just for contextualization, let’s get down to business) was delirious with my new space: I had furniture to assemble, others that I took it upon myself to sand and paint, and every day was a renewed feast of pleasure in building and getting started. I will never be able to describe how crazy I am about beginnings.
Days went by, so did people from the neighbouring offices, and only one knocked on my door and opened it, after my happy assent:
– Hello, and welcome! My name is Fernando, I am the neighbour over there from Zulfilmes! Anything you need, just let me know!
After that day, others were repeated. It happens that my office is on the way to the bathrooms – it is, as they say, a place of passage. But it also happens that, among those who pass by, only he stops. He alone passes by, waves, opens, peeks in, and says good morning that tastes like summer even if it’s raining. Only he does not try to spread joy and energy that, even for those who know little (or nothing) about energy, is a kind of ray of light that stays, even when the door closes and he leaves.
Moreover, Fernando Centeio is a well-known and recognized name in Portuguese cinema. The problem is that Portuguese cinema insists on being known by few people. But, even so, he has done so many things that could have given him away to be like so many who think they are above the rest and, for this very reason, would never bother to knock on the door of an illustrious stranger, offering help and welcome.
This is, for a start, Fernando Centeio. These days, I would say that this is a conversation starter that says a lot.
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