AKQA Coala.LAB: Dreaming with Nego Bala’s Sonho

Figure by a car looking out over the sunset

AKQA Coala.LAB: Dreaming with Nego Bala’s Sonho

Transforming tragedy into poetry

AKQA Coala.LAB turned Nego Bala’s story of incarceration, hope and resilience into a short film to coincide with the release of his debut album.

The 15-minute music video, set to the song Sonho (Dreams), portrays the Brazilian artist’s own experiences in juvenile detention, whilst sharing a message of hope.

Nego Bala was born and raised in Boca do Lixo, São Paulo, with limited opportunities. He was homeless and turned to crime but found his freedom in music. AKQA Coala.LAB crafted a variety of formats to help Nego Bala’s message come to life and reach more people.

The short film is based on Nego Bala’s life. At age 11 he wrote the lyrics for the song Sonho (Dreams) during his first stay at a juvenile detention centre. The film’s mission is to inspire others to never stop dreaming and showing that talent exists everywhere, but what is lacking is opportunities for all.

The film can be shown in communities, schools, prisons, and juvenile detention centres to demonstrate to young people that there is a better future for those who do not give up fighting for their dreams.

Christiano Vellutini, Creative Director AKQA, said: “The film reflects the hardships of the daily lives of many Brazilians, and uses the language of the streets to convey a message of hope. It aims to raise the self-esteem of everyone who, at some point, thought about giving up, especially during these times of COVID-19.”

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