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Short Version

Documentary piece for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation on the figure of Amaro Dominguez, community leader and founder of the Vila Olímpica in the Maré favela complex, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Amaro's story follows the story of an anonymous Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro, a man with a strong sense of solidarity and perseverance, whose eagerness to help people began by sheltering the children of the Favela de Maré who were living on the streets and playing in a dangerous environment, in order to keep them away from violence and guns.

He visited Pelé, at the time when he was Minister of Sports, and through perseverance and patience, Amaro obtained the funds needed to build "his dream", an Olympic Village in the heart of the Maré complex for all the children. A place dedicated to promoting civility and values to excluded youngsters through sports and education.

Over the years, Amaro has become a true "community leader", while the Olympic Village has become a space for social transformation that generates coexistence in a conflictive urban environment.


In late June 2017, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation organized in Athens, Greece, a conference entitled "The Evolution of Sports Venues into Public Spaces" on: "The use of Sports as a transformative tool in vulnerable urban settings and the way a public space can be a place to generate coexistence and social transformation through the values of sports and its practice".


The FC Barcelona was invited to participate in the conference to talk about its "Futbol Net" program, an educational tool to promote the positive values of sports among young people through the "Futbol 3" methodology, a football-based system that promotes communication, social interaction and cohesion among all participants.


Nicolás Rubio, who was then the "Futbol Net" program coordinator at the Foundation, got in touch with me to get together with him and Mariona Miret, who was in charge of programs and projects, to develop the production. They were looking for a short documentary-style piece that would show the Greek audience all the work the Foundation had been doing in the Vila Olímpica de Maré.


Thanks to Amaro, and his right-hand man, Michel Rodriguez, we were able to secure permission from the two rival drug trafficking gangs operating in the area (the Red Command and the Third Command) to enter the Favela de Maré to shoot some images. We also had to ask for permission to operate the drone and obtain aerial images of the Vila Olímpica area so that it could be flown without it being shot at by both drug gangs.


We shot the piece with two cameras and a very limited technical team. Nearly everything was hand-held, except for the interviews. Once we entered the upper part of the favela the tension while shooting was constant as we found ourselves abruptly surrounded by kids talking with walkies and carrying assault weapons on their backs. No one entered or left the area without being checked, let alone carrying cameras.

It is certainly an experience that I will always remember, as well as the kindness, the outstanding service and hospitality we received from all the people at the Maré Complex.


I could not fail to highlight the excellent editing and synthesis job that Roger Domínguez, friend, partner and co-author did, as well as Maria Flores, El Mono Traicionero's producer whom we completed this project with and who watched our backs at all times throughout the production.


If you are interested in seeing more material on my Vimeo page you can find an extended version of the same piece.

Client: FCB Foundation & Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Directed by: Guillem López & Roger Domínguez

Camera Operators: Guillem López & Ignasi Martín

Drone Operator and aereal footage: Rafael Chacón

Executive producers: Nicolás Rubio (FCB Foundation Project Manager) & Mariona Miret (Head of Programs and Projects of the FCB Foundation)

Production Manager (Río de Janeiro): Bruno Sousa Rosostolato

Production Manager (Barcelona): María Flores (El Mono Traicionero)

Runner: Josué

Film Editor: Roger Domínguez

Year of production: 2017

Running time: 6 minutes 45 sec. (Short Version)

More information available at:

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Youtube Channel
AMARO'S DREAM. Documentary. Guillem López Conejo.
AMARO'S DREAM. Documentary. Guillem López Conejo.
Amaro's Dream Making off. Guillem López Conejo
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