In 2013, we were lucky to have crossed paths with an incredible young artist who was making waves not only on the art scene, but in the lives of this world’s most vulnerable people – children. A writer, director and actor in his own right, Fernando Barbosa, a Bolivian-born-and-raised and Montreal-educated young man is also an activist, using the power of film to fight on the front lines for the young people in his country. Growing up in Bolivia, Fernando had not seen or experienced the harsh realities of some children and young people in his country, living in poverty, forced to work, abused and neglected by their government. It took one encounter with one of these “children of the street” to realize what was happening right in his back yard and it was a hard pill to swallow. Not one to sit back and watch things unfold, Fernando took to the streets, camera in hand, with the goal to document what was happening, give the children a voice, and tell the world the story of what is happening in one South American country. The first video he produced was in Montreal, walking the streets of the city in the winter with a cape on his back. Dubbed “Captain Shoe”, Fernando educated people about the plight of street children.If you have not yet seen this video, it is a must!
Captain Shoe walks #OnBehalfOfWorkingChildren
Following this initial act of awareness, he then gathered a team and began filming directly in Bolivia the lives of children. The documentary is entitled “Taking Off” or in Spanish “Despegar”. In 2014, he started a crowd-funding campaign to raise enough money to continue working on the documentary. Fernando does not just talk the talk, he walks the walk, often in dangerous territory, putting his life at risk, so that the children with no voice can finally speak. Even in the direst of circumstances, the children of Bolivia’s streets have big dreams, high hopes and the determination to change their lives around. See for yourself in Taking Off’s second trailer. Warning – it will be a real eye opener!
Official trailer: “Despegando” (Taking Off)
Along with waiting to launch his documentary, Fernando is also busy shooting a U.S. film entitled “Tu me manques” (I miss you) which will be filmed in New York and Bolivia, bringing forth a new platform to promote the meaningful work he has been doing in Bolivia. We truly believe in Fernando’s mission and in his ability to bring about social change. Aside from creating work for Fernando by using his skills for filming our “Seven Inspiring Leaders” video in 2014 as well as for helping our President give an impactful speaking engagement at McGill University, Papillon MDC Inc. has also contributed to Fernando’s Take Flight project while also mobilizing our network to learn more about his initiative and to gather new supporters.