Cannes Lions


AKQA, Sao Paulo / NEGO BALA / 2022


1 Silver Cannes Lions
Demo Film
Supporting Content






Marcelo Generoso, aka Nego Bala, a 22 year old funk artist born and raised in São Paulo’s “Crackland”, a neighbourhood forgotten by society and taken over by crack addicts and the homeless was launching his first album with song Sonho as the main composition.

Launching the first album of a funk artist that, musically, has a unique style that created a different category of funk, more complex and conceptual than the traditional Brazilian funk. We had to connect with the traditional funk fans, but also with a broader audience by breaking the prejudice towards funk.

The main objective was to transform an unknown artist with only two previously released songs into a big hit in a short period of time. For that, we created the film Sonho as a materialisation of the artist’s own childhood dreams to inspire every child to never stop dreaming.


The film cinematographically reenacts the moment when the song “Sonho'' was written by Nego Bala as a 12 year old juvenile detention centre inmate. Without a device to record, he had to hum the melody and lyrics to not forget it, but was violently censored for singing. As a child behind bars, funk was his tool to mentally escape the harsh reality of the institution and enter in his own “Realm of Dreams” where he can visualise his freedom and his future accomplishments in his mind, in order to accomplish them in the physical world. Nego’s final scene with his younger self was an improvised speech with the camera rolling. It’s a blend of poetry with rawness. Making the 14-minute short film a message of hope to millions of other kids: “regardless of the place I will dream and fight”.


The strategy was to have the sensibility of capturing the harsh truth of the penitentiary system and transform this into a cinematographically journey of hope. Nego was a consultant to faithfully represent the scenes inside the Juvenile Detention Centre, depicting it with a respectful and non-clichê approach. The image the world has of Brazilian poverty and jail scenarios are always inhumane and overly rough. We didn’t want to put kids into this stereotyped visual. But we also couldn’t be naive and not show the struggle that is being in prison. All the scenes from the “Real of Dreams” were based on the life of Nego Bala and on interviews from the real people portrayed in the film.


In addition to being posted across Nego Bala social networks, the film was shown at festivals, shared by artists, musicians and influencers from all over the world.

Despite being the launch of a local underdog, the launch gained international scale through festivals, artists, influencers, youtubers and going viral on the internet.


Dreams that came true after the launch:

Performing to sold out crowds,

+411,2% monthly listeners across all digital music platforms,

+169,62% followers on social media channels,

Recognition from the international music industry:

Shots Awards – Music Video of the Year Nominee

APCA Top 50 albums of 2021 List

Shark Awards – Best Music Video

Shark Awards – Best Casting

3x Shark Awards Nominations

(Cinematography, Best Writing/Concept, Best Direction)

AICP Show - Shortlist

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Shortlisted Cannes Lions

STINK FILMS, Sao paulo



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