Student's search for 'real' World Cup mascot in Brazil

Issue date: 27 August 2014


UWE Bristol MA Wildlife Filmmaking student, Cesar Leite, spent his summer searching the undergrowth of the Cerrado Savannahs in central Brazil, hoping to catch a glimpse of the illusive and rare three-banded Armadillo on camera.

For his documentary Armadillo: the wild ball, Cesar returned to his native Brazil to question the knowledge of the countries football fans in relation to their World Cup mascot, before journeying into the wilds of Central Brazil in search of the timid creature.

The seldom seen animal was chosen as the mascot for Brazil 2014 because of its unusual, and apt, defence mechanism. When threatened, the three-banded armadillo rolls up into a perfect sphere, protecting its soft underbelly from predators beneath its hard shell.

Inspired by the work of David Attenborough and the programmes produced by the BBC's Bristol based Natural History Unit (NHU), Cesar first studied Biology in Brazil before embarking on his Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE Bristol. The University's links with the prestigious Natural History Unit were a key factor in Cesar's decision to undertake postgraduate study.

Cesar says, ''I wanted to learn from the creative minds who were at the forefront of wildlife documentary production, who had produced landmark programmes with Sir David Attenborough, and the course at UWE Bristol gave me exactly that. Now, for the first time in my life, I have had the chance to produce my own wildlife documentary, on a subject of my choosing, backed by the advice of the best professionals from the NHU; advice that certainly influenced the subject of my final film.”

The film took 3 months to complete, with Cesar editing footage whilst on location, before returning to UWE Bristol to add the finishing touches.

Further information on studying the MA in Wildlife Filmmaking is available on the course homepage.

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