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Impacts of Biofuels in Brazil


Content for a policy change campaign for ActionAid USA about the effects of the biofuels plantations in local communities in Brazil.


The material produced included a short documentary presenting a wider perspective of the issue, short videos of personal stories from the community and photos for the campaign.


Visual content production, Direction, Filming and Audio:


  • Short Documentary

  • Personal short Documentary

  • Photography


Edit: Marcelo Engster

Sound Design: Lucas Piovesan



Maria José de Gomes Souza


Maria José is the Principal at the local school. Not all settlements have their own schools, and she is fiercely proud of her community and what they have accomplished. She worries about the continued expansion of the sugarcane plantations as it has visible effects within the settlement.


"We can't live from just ethanol. We need to feed our families."

Ailton Basílio da Costa


Ailton can see a sugarcane plantation from his house. When the planes started spraying pesticides on the sugarcane, his crops started failing, so he had to stop farming.


“I used to grow rice, beans and corn on my land. But there are many crops that we now can’t grow”.

Nerio Gomes de Souza


Nerio is a community leader and serves as a councilman for Mirassol d’Oeste, the town closest to the settlement where he lives. He sees the wider impacts and costs of sugarcane production for ethanol so close to his community.


“The way that this kind of farming is advancing, the day will soon arrive when there is a lack of food in the country. Because the people who feed the country are the small farmers”.

Eliane Floriano Silva dos Reis


Eliane lives in the Roseli Nunes farming community, on land right next to a sugarcane plantation. She would like to take part in a local project growing organic food and for the local market, but the pesticides spread by the sugarcane company spread on to her land, contaminating the soil.


“I can’t plant food here because of the over-use of pesticides on the sugarcane plantation next to my land. The chemicals that they spread go on to my land and get into the groundwater”.

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