Reaching younger generations through film

By Carlos Magalhaes '21, Cinema, religion, and worldview (M.A.)

Carlos Magalhaes lives in Brasilia, Brazil, where he is the executive producer of the Christian streaming platform Feliz7Play. 


I have always enjoyed stories, movies, and series. At age 18, I remember seeing a movie about the book “The Great Controversy,” which encouraged me to make a decision that changed my entire future. I started my streaming platform, Feliz7Play, with a vision that movies could be an excellent way to create relationships with new generations and transmit Christian concepts. My goal is to dialogue with new generations in South America through educational and religious narratives. In my job, I make sure our platform always has new content that fits the needs of our audience. 

Feliz7Play was born in mid-2017 and grew extremely quickly. At the end of the second year, we realized that we needed to improve our methods and processes, as well as theoretically ground the content we were producing. I did an internet search and discovered Walla Walla University’s master’s program for Cinema, Religion, and Worldview and expected it to be the best fit for what we needed—and I was right! I acquired the technical and theoretical knowledge I needed at WWU to glimpse new paths and possibilities for Feliz7Play.  

My mother language is Portuguese. My work also requires me to be fluent in Spanish, but English is rarely needed. Studying at WWU required me to improve my English comprehension, writing, and speaking skills. For writing, I relied on translation software, but I think that speaking was my biggest challenge. In some classes, we needed to talk and express opinions. There were some moments I had the feeling that teachers or classmates didn’t really understand what I was trying to say, but they were always very understanding and friendly. 

I also had a very busy schedule with many trips and meetings. The demands of a leadership job and the language barrier required me to dedicate many early mornings and weekends to fulfill the course requirements. 

From time to time, there are significant milestones in my life. The last one was after completing my master’s degree at WWU. Up until that time I was merely a consumer of movies and other audiovisual productions. Since the course, I have become a producer of educational, moral, and spiritual content focused on helping younger generations find answers to life’s greatest dilemmas. 

As a result of what I learned, Feliz7Play films were selected to participate in 17 film festivals, being finalists in five of them and winners in three. More than 2.5 million people watch Feliz7Play videos in Portuguese and Spanish every month. Some of our films are going to be dubbed and subtitled into other languages this year, such as English, German, and French. 

Language is only one way to communicate in the world. There are many other ways to connect and exchange knowledge and experiences with others, while celebrating our differences. Sympathy, humility, and empathy are universal languages that go beyond language and geographical barriers. 

Carlos Magalhaes
Film production