Prêmio de Preservação



He was born in Argentina and spent part of his childhood in Montevideo, but, still young, came to live in São Paulo. That was the beginning of a lovable relationship between Gustavo Dahl and the country he would adopt forever, assuming its nationality and using the most dignified arms to defend it: the cinema. Either through film production or through politics.

When was 20 years-old, Gustavo Dahl entered through the front door in the cinema world. He was invited by the critic Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes to write articles in the literary supplement of the daily newspaper “O Estado de São Paulo”. At the same time, after abandoning his studies in Law, he joined the Centro Dom Vital film club and began to work at Brazilian Cinematheque[1] in São Paulo.

These formative years achieved the edge when he won a scholarship from the Italian Government to study cinema at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. There, he knew those that would be the finest directors of the Twentieth Century as Bernardo Bertolucci. However, the most important was his meeting with a Brazilian: Paulo Cesar Saraceni, who puts him on the path to Cinema Novo. Before coming back to Brazil, Dahl also had the opportunity to see the “cinema-truth” birth during a course by Jean Rouch at Musée de l´Homme in Paris.

1964: that was not a good year on politics, but fed many creators minds and Gustavo Dahl, already in Brazil, decided to live in Rio de Janeiro and began his career as editor and documentarist. Then, he directed the fiction film “O bravo guerreiro” that with Saraceni´s “O desafio” and Glauber Rocha´s “Terra em transe” would be the political trilogy of Cinema Novo’s second period. Dahl´s not only dedicated his time on filming or in editing room but also developed a career as a movie critic writing for important magazines as “Civilização Brasileira” and newspapers as “Opinião” and “Movimento”.

The film maker and critic activities would be together when Dahl began to work with public issues as soon as he assumed the Embrafilme commercial section. It was in 1975. Gustavo Dahl took part in many areas of movie market: he produced, wrote critics and participated on political management. Such complete profile fit to assume the presidency of Cinema National Agency (ANCINE),   which he helped to create as member of Executive Group of the Film Industry (GEDIC) that  discussed the relation between the State and the market.

After ANCINE, Gustavo Dahl assumed the direction of Audio Visual Technical Center (in Portuguese, Centro Técnico Audiovisual, CTAV), of Ministry of Culture. This was his job in 2011, when on June 26th, while watching a movie, at Trancoso, Bahia, he suffered a heart attack.  


[1] Brazilian Cinematheque is an audiovisual material ‘library’ responsible to keep, promote and restore one of the largest collections in Latin America.