Ovadia Saadia apresenta Michel Lichand, que se inspira nas próprias histórias para mostrar o Brasil na TV norte-americana

Michel_Lichand_com_a_Escola_de_Artes_Cinematográficas_da_USC_ao_fundo

Michel passou a infância no Bom Retiro, em São Paulo, que já foi o bairro de diversas comunidades, como italiana, judaica e coreana. Desde cedo, bebeu em diversas fontes culturais e existenciais, que o ajudaram a ter orgulho de suas identidades e a enfrentar preconceitos e outras adversidades. Já com boas experiências profissionais, aos 25 anos de idade, Michel sonha em levar as situações que viveu, como brasileiro negro e judeu, e as histórias e pessoas que conheceu no Brasil para a televisão dos EUA.

Não faz muito tempo que Michel Lichand*, 25 anos, precisava usar camiseta de mangas compridas ao chegar na University of Southern California (USC), em Los Angeles.  “É que eu me beliscava todas as manhãs ao chegar. Queria ver se não estava sonhando que tinha sido aceito na faculdade onde estudaram nomes como Steven Spielberg, George Lucas e Robert Zemeckis”, conta Michel, com o olhar divertido de quem diz a verdade, mas também dá um toque criativo, de bom roteirista, às histórias que conta. “Zemeckis é uma das grandes influências na minha vida. Seu filme ‘De Volta pro Futuro’ fez eu me apaixonar por cinema e boas histórias.

Michel Lichand

Nascido em 1996, filho de mãe branca e judia, a oftalmologista Bela Rosa Lichand, e de pai negro e ateu, o ortopedista Sérgio Mendonça, durante toda a infância e adolescência viveu no Bom Retiro, em São Paulo, que já foi o bairro de diversas comunidades, como italiana, judaica e coreana. Desde muito cedo, Michel bebeu em diversas fontes culturais e existenciais, que o ajudaram a ter orgulho de suas identidades e a enfrentar preconceitos e outras adversidades com determinação e leveza. 

Michel recorda que aprendeu a escrever lendo e relendo seus quadrinhos favoritos. “Minha primeira história, sobre ‘o Mistério do Morcego da Caverna Azul’, foi adicionada à biblioteca do Colégio Renascença, depois que transformei, aos seis anos de idade, os desenhos em um livro”, diz com orgulho.

Foi o desejo e o prazer de ouvir e contar histórias que levou Michel, anos mais tarde, à Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado, onde estudou “Rádio e TV”. Na faculdade, produziu o Talk Show “Rodelas com Rodolfo Capelas”, que recebeu nomes como o cantor e compositor Lobão e os chefs Cecília Padilha e Aluísio Nahime. Além disso, fez parte das estações de rádio e tv da Fundação, produzindo programas de entrevistas com personalidades do cenário cultural do País, como o ator Daniel Nascimento, o crítico Rubens Ewald Filho e o dramaturgo, diretor, ensaísta, tradutor e roteirista Aimar Labaki.

A entrevista com Labaki teve influência decisiva na trajetória de Michel Lichand: apesar de adorar fazer produção, descobriu que seu verdadeiro desejo era escrever roteiros. Fez um curso de Roteiro com o próprio Labaki e logo após se inscreveu na USC para a pós-graduação em Roteiro para Cinema e Televisão (Writing for Screen and Television), na Escola de Artes Cinematográficas (School of Cinematic Arts). “O nome do curso não traduz bem o que ele é hoje: é bem mais amplo, já que tive também aulas de Roteiro para Games, Parques Temáticos, quadrinhos e muito mais”, conta.

Para ser aceito na Universidade, Michel resgatou a paixão pelos quadrinhos e pela Disney, para onde foi pela primeira vez em 2007, aos 11 de idade, a passeio com a mãe, o irmão, Dylan, e uma prima, Patrícia; e de dezembro de 2016 a fevereiro de 2017, para ter uma experiência de trabalho no Exterior, aprimorar o Inglês e curtir o dia a dia de um parque da Disney, o Epcot. “A gente deve sempre aproveitar as experiências e histórias vivenciadas ou ouvidas. Meu trabalho na Disney foi como atendente e ajudante na venda de ingressos e tickets, mas aproveitei para conversar com colegas e outros trabalhadores, especialmente os que lá estavam há mais de 30 anos. Com eles, aprendi muito sobre a história do local.  Quando me inscrevi para a USC pediram, entre outros, para eu escrever um roteiro. Não sabia bem o que escolher, mas aí fechei os olhos, respirei e descobri o que faria: um roteiro baseado na construção do Parque Temático de Epcot.”

Com a excelência do roteiro, Michel foi escolhido para entrar na turma do pós. “Foi tudo muito rápido. Terminei Rádio e TV em maio de 2018 e entrei na USC em agosto do mesmo ano”, relata.

Michel Lichand na escola de cinema da USC

Na USC, recebeu uma bolsa de estudos do roteirista Javi Grillo-Marxauch, um dos criadores da série Lost, que selecionou pessoalmente Michel. Esta foi a primeira de várias oportunidades que encontrou na universidade norte-americana. Também foi selecionado para participar de uma sala de roteiristas e redigir um piloto, sob a tutelagem de FJ Pratt e David Isaacs, que haviam trabalhado nos clássicos sitcoms Frasier, Cheers e Mash.  O resultado foi o piloto de sitcom Unschooled, exibido no Festival de Comédia USC, em 2019.

Com talento, persistência e os contatos obtidos na USC, Michel entrou na indústria americana. Seu primeiro trabalho foi na Whitaker Entertainment, produtora responsável pelo remake de “Uma Dobra no Tempo”, estrelado por Oprah Winfrey, localizada dentro dos estúdios Disney, em Burbank.  Michel tinha como função principal pesquisar a fundo os contos e a mitologia brasileira, procurando ideias que poderiam ser transformados em futuros filmes da Disney. Além disso, trabalhou no desenvolvimento de ideias por meio da leitura de livros e artigos que poderiam também se tornar futuros filmes do estúdio.  “Foi emocionante e ao mesmo tempo uma conquista trabalhar para a Disney que, como já disse, é há muito tempo uma das minhas grandes paixões”, diz Michel. 

 Após Whitaker, foi para o time de desenvolvimento da AMC Networks (rede de canais televisivos que produziu series famosas como Breaking Bad, Mad Men e The Walking Dead), onde realizou um trabalho semelhante, mas desta vez para várias emissoras, do canal principal da AMC ao canal americano da britânica BBC.

 

Michel Lichand quer mostrar o Brasil na TV dos EUA

Atualmente Michel trabalha como roteirista para a Lionsgate Games, divisão da Lionsgate, estúdio responsável pelos filmes John Wick, La La Land e a saga “Jogos Vorazes”, entre outros. Na Lionsgate, o jovem brasileiro já escreveu para games que expandem os universos de personagens e filmes famosos, como “Rambo”, a “Bruxa de Blair”, “Jogos Mortais” e a franquia “Uma Noite Alucinante” Michel é também é membro da Writers Guild of America e da Associação Brasileira de Roteiristas. Já julgou concursos de roteiro para a Wayfarer Studios, produtora de “A Cinco Passos de Você”.

Apesar de querer continuar nos EUA, Michel não se esquece das próprias raízes e revela que seu grande sonho é levar histórias brasileiras para a televisão norte-americana. “Quero escrever sobre meu País, sobre personagens que conheci e, também, sobre algumas histórias pessoais, experiências como negro, judeu e brasileiro que foram fundamentais em minha formação”, diz Michel, acrescentando que nos seus tempos livres escreve, ao lado de um amigo norte-americano da Flórida, de 35 anos, que conheceu na Pós-Graduação da USC, um sitcom. “´Michael Karr e eu moramos hoje na mesma casa, que dividimos com mais xxx pessoas. O sitcom, de nome ainda indefinido (Michel & Michael) é justamente sobre um jovem brasileiro e um americano mais velho que dividem um quarto em uma casa e passam pelas mais diversas e inusitadas situações. Como eu disse, é sempre possível aproveitar as próprias experiências. Das difíceis às engraçadas. Essa é a base do meu processo criativo.”

*O nome completo é Michel Lichand Mendonça. Profissionalmente, o nome é Michel Lichand.

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