Tourism in Egypt is still recovering and campaigns are underway in countries whose citizens normally flock to the beaches on the Red Sea to tell them all is well under Egypt’s bright sun. A Brazillian TV crew was in town this week to undertake one such mission and gave the Daily News Egypt an exclusive interview. At least, that was the idea. What ended up happening is that we interviewed each other. Our part is this article, theirs will show on Brazilian TV in the near future.
Andre Fran, Leonarde Campos, Felipe Melo and Bruno Amaral are the hosts of Não Conta Lá em Casa – Don’t tell it back home – a reality-type travel show that airs on Brazilian cable channel Multishow. The show is in its fifth and final season, and all except Melo were in Egypt to film the show’s latest installment.
The hosts are childhood friends from Rio de Janeiro and started out their careers in journalism, law and economics, with none of them harbouring ambitions to become TV presenters. “It started in 2005 when we made plans to travel together to Indonesia to go surfing,” Campos explained. “We had done that a few times before and were so excited about our upcoming trip that we bought our tickets in December.” Amaral then takes over telling the story seamlessly, showing how well these guys know each other: “And then the tsunami hit and we noticed that most of the news focused on Thailand while Indonesia suffered enormous losses. We decided we should go to the affected area when we got there to see what we could do to help. We had taken their perfect waves before, maybe now we could do something back.”
That something became a documentary, Indo.doc, which they filmed with a small handheld camera and was shown on several festivals around Brazil. The friends filmed each other as they explored what had happened, and their unique and personal style caught the eye of the Multishow channel.
“We were thinking of doing more documentaries,” Fran explained, “but when we were offered to do a travel show for a young audience in our own way, with complete control of content and editing, we could not say no.”
“We wanted to deconstruct stereotypes and properly introduce countries that were only portrayed in one way in the media,” Amaral added. “Especially since our audience is young. We decided to first go to the countries that were labelled the Axis of Evil by the former US president Bush; we wanted to show how people lived and what it was really like there.”
On the surface the show is lighthearted, but the friends do have a message they want to give their audience. “Our shows are 30 minutes long and we use three to five minutes to introduce the cultural landmarks that Brazilians are familiar with, but we use that as a hook to show them what life is really like,” Fran said.
During the show they have visited Myanmar, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Haiti, and Somalia among other countries. “We chose to visit places that were in the news, but would wait until the dust would settle first, we are not war correspondents,” Campos explained. “Our show aims to show how people live – there is no way to do that if the conflict is still raging in a country,” Fran expanded.
When the uprising in Arab countries started the friends decided North-Africa would be their next destination. “We lived through a similar transition in our country and we know our audience can relate to what is happening now here,” Amaral said. Their visit to Egypt was preceded by a week in Tunisia and when asked what their impressions are thus far Amaral said: “We only just arrived two days ago, so we cannot really say much about Egypt but my first impression is that the people in Tunisia seem happier and feel that they have made a big step forward in a better future. The Egyptians that we have met so far told us they are very disappointed and that life has not improved much.” “It is early days though,” chimed in both Campos and Fran.
The team plans to visit Luxor and spend a few days more in Cairo before leaving for Brazil to start editing this final chapter of their show.