Project Proposal




We are team “Roda de Fuego” (meaning circle of flames in Portugese), the members of which are Natalie Steffen, Francis Comerford, Devon Williams, & Jesse Martinez.


This documentary is about Seth Martinez’s coming of age, transforming from a rowdy kid into a community respected Capoeira instructor.

Intended Audience:

Young adults and people going through transitional periods of the lives who could be inspired by our piece.


We want our audience to see that it is possible to create change in yourself and your community with a few simple but wholehearted efforts. We aim to have them come away with feelings of inspiration and understanding about Seth’s journey and changes in his life, possibly drawing parallels between his story and their own or people’s they know.


The audio will be music that Seth and his students play during class, Capoeira songs (copyright issues?), and ambient sounds of the classes. The majority of the forfront of the audio will be voice over of Seth and people he knows talking about Seth as a leader and his growth from when he was young to now, as well as about Capoeira and its influence on Seth and his community.


Before Seth’s introduction through his own narrative, we’ll use non-narrated or voice-ed over video to introduce the studio space (inside and outside) as a place of community and hard work. Seth will be shown on screen interacting with his students, both young and older, to establish him as the figurehead of the studio and as the leader of his community group.

We’ll start the interview voiceover with the story about how Seth got his nickname of “Pimenta,” since that’s the title of our piece. Seth’s excited way of talking and his animated gesturing adds to the story at parts, when the viewer isn’t seeing archival footage and images of Seth’s childhood, running parallel to his story about his past. This will introduce our main character, Seth Martinez.

Seth will talk about his interests before Capoeira, establishing his violent tendencies and his childhood memories about sports, music, and dance, all of which are aspects of Capoeira. This will lead into his story about how he was inspired to take up Capoeira, through the 1993 movie “Only the Strong.” This would be a good place for another interview to come in, of his childhood friend that learned Capoeira alongside him. His and Seth’s interview audio will play over clips from the movie itself, exemplifying the Capoeira and breakdancing scenes from the movie that Seth saw that inspired him.

Seth will talk about the classes that he took under Mestre Accordeon, who helped to bring Capoeira from Brazil to America and helped it along to establish itself as not only a martial art but also a dance and cultural style that is working towards being accepted as appropriate rather than “exotic” or foreign.

Next Mestre Accordeon will talk about the history of Capoeira, that it was a Brazilian slave’s way of defending themselves from abusive masters and owners, and how it came from Brazil to America. There will be motion graphics playing over the audio, animating the rather bland historical lesson with a lighthearted style rather than a dark one; this will help to push forward our story not as a depressing story but a story about change, headed towards inspiration.

We’ll end the piece with Seth talking about his aspirations for the future and how he hopes to continue to inspire others and help them see their own potential not only as his students in Capoeira, but also as members of the community and as human beings. Then, in parallel with the opening of the piece, we’ll see Seth working with his students in his studio.

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