cinema of awarenessfilms

Here’s a little about Lucio Gallo and Renata Mellão, the producers/directors/creative minds behind Cinema of Awareness.

Renata YOung

Lucio Gallo was born in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, a state rich in natural beauty as well as gemstone and mineral treasures.  Influenced by his spectacular surroundings, Gallo's interest in beauty and visual arts began at an early age.  He started drawing and creating graphics when he was 8; at age 12, he immersed himself in photography, excitedly taking pictures with a professional Rolleiflex; and at 13, he began to dream of making film clips and music videos.  Over the next several years, he also continued his secondary education and developed his photography skills.  When he was 19, he had his first photography art studio (models, architecture and nature), and set up a high-end professional color lab in Salvador, in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

Gallo spent the next two years in Bahia as a professional freelance photographer, and director of photography on several short films and programs for commercial TV in Brazil broadcast by Itapoan TV network.  He later went on to earn an Equivalence University Degree in Social Communication as Director of Cinema, officially qualifying him as a film producer, director, director of photography, and editor.  He also read and studied literature, psychology, and education (including the works of Piaget, Montessori, O'Neill and Krishnamurti).

This was followed by a three year period in which Gallo worked as an assistant to film directors and producers such as Paulo Ferreira, Brazil's top documentarian at the time, while simultaneously producing his own film projects and photography exhibits, and multi vision shows utilizing sound effects and dozens of carefully synchronized slide projectors.  During this time he also worked on documentary films and other multimedia pieces for private and public institutions.

Gallo spent the next few years traveling abroad in England, Switzerland, France, Holland and Scandinavian countries, attending seminars on education.  He also met with prominent scientists in seminars, conferences and private meetings, including world-famous physicist David Bohm, Nobel Prize winner Professor Maurice Wilkens, and renowned psychiatrist David Shainberg. These studies and meetings helped him to expand the holistic outlook he first discovered in his adolescence.

During the time Gallo was traveling abroad, he continued to work part-time as a film director and director of photography on films and TV commercials.  As both producer and director, Gallo next embarked on a feature documentary project, "The Sweet Seeds of the Sun."  Two years in the making, filmed in five countries (England, Switzerland, France, Mexico, and Brazil), this unique film on the origin of cocoa and chocolate was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences for its artistic excellence and educational value.

Next, Gallo traveled to England, where he spent six years living and working at Brockwood Park, a high school founded by internationally renowned philosopher and educator J. Krishnamurti.  There, working as an educator, he worked with the video/film archive and computer system, handling a variety of projects including the presentation of Krishnamurti's teachings on CD-ROMs. He also were in charge of organizing study trips and making of documentaries about life and culture in Brazil.

After Brockwood Park, Gallo moved to Denmark, and later to the United States. For the last 12 years, Gallo produced, directed and photographed numerous productions in the United Stated and abroad. These projects were a variety of private assignments: artistic, educational, and commercial.

Lucio Gallo and his partner Renata Mellão are now embarking on a number of documentary and feature film projects for “Cinema of Awareness”, which Lucio hopes will have a positive impact on others. "I have the individual, moral responsibility to use my talents and capabilities to create works that promote social and spiritual awareness.  Those who can do so must try to diminish ignorance, to help bring some understanding toward relieving the overall pain of humanity”.

Renata Mellão was born in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the three largest cities in the world.  At the young age of 3 she began her lifelong acquaintance with the English language, the first of many to come, at the British school of São Paulo.  At age 13 she left her home and family to attend Aiglon College, a British boarding school in Switzerland, where she passionately pursued Theatre, History, Philosophy, Music, Literature, and French.

At Aiglon, Renata had the rare opportunity of traveling across Europe on nature and cultural expeditions, practicing her French among native speakers, learning Spanish from her peers and living among children from over 40 different countries.  The surrounding landscape of the Alps, and proximity to important world cultural centers, helped awaken within her a strong appetite for travel, and a keen aesthetic sense. Throughout her time in school and college, Renata took extra art classes, and taught herself how to photograph, never ceasing to be interested in art as communication.

In spite of knowing at an early age she wished to eventually become a film director, Renata decided not to attend film school, but rather a humanities-oriented, or 'liberal arts' college.  Her school’s career counselor suggested that she attend the highly independent, intellectually strong Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where many American artists, thinkers and writers made their start.  Leaving behind the European countryside, and once again the Brazilian metropolis that was home to her parents and family, Renata immersed herself in yet another cultural reality.

During her time at Sarah Lawrence, Renata continued to travel whenever possible, her curiosity leading her to places as different as India, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic and Italy.  She completed two different film production courses, producing and directing several student shorts, took courses in screenwriting, film analysis and history, and acting for theatre and film.  She also dedicated time to studying Italian, non-fiction prose, and 20th-century History whilst working with public school children, tutoring students in Portuguese, and tutoring a few school staff members in English.

After graduation, and a short internship with an independent film company’s development department in New York City, Renata decided to move to the wide-open, sunny state of California to find her way in the tightly-structured world of film production in Los Angeles.  As it turns out, 'her way' included becoming a screenwriter, editor, producer and director together with Lucio Gallo, making independent films for Cinema of Awareness and beyond.




In The Works...

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