The Global Search for Education: Director Claudio Martins on Difference and Prejudice

C. M. Rubin
3 min readApr 20, 2023


This month, audiences can screen Sebastiana on the Planet Classroom Network. This film was curated by Planet Classroom.

Sebastiana is a short film directed by Claudio Martins, based on the award-winning book, “Ela tem olhos de céu,” by Socorro Acioli.

It’s the story of a girl with a special gift that brings happiness to her village in Brazil; but as the villagers’ fortunes change, they turn against her. The film explores themes of prejudice and acceptance, and is told through mood and emotion, without any dialogue. The film’s style references stop-motion, and its color palette is inspired by the clay-like earth of Ceará, where the director grew up. The rich soundtrack is scored by Thiago Gobet.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Claudio Martins.

Claudio, what was the inspiration behind the production of this film and what do you hope your audience will take away?

What inspired me was a book called, “She Has the Eyes of Heaven,” by a great author friend, Socorro Acioli. The story is about difference and prejudice. And in the film, I was able to portray that and also how the beauty of the interior of our state, Ceará, is. Rich in color and culture.

Is the story a call-out to bullying and ostracization of people that are deemed “different,” and their effects on people?

That’s right. Most of us have been or will be bullied. It is a sensitive issue and one that should be alerted and made aware of by everyone, children and adults. It is not because I am different that I should be hostile or ill-treated. Everyone has their differences. That’s what makes us so unique in the universe.

Why did you choose this animated medium rather than any other one?

My idea was to animate like a book painted with crayons. It took months of research to find a way to convey the idea. And the only way would be to animate in digital 2D with traditional animation effects. Quite manual work.

What made you decide to make this beautiful short film “silent”?

Animation is a universal medium. It pleases the public from 08 to 80 years old. As I had the idea of going to festivals and showing our message and work, I thought it best to communicate without subtitles. Just like the old silent movies were, where expressions were more intense. And that way I could communicate more easily in any language.

Thanks Claudio!

C.M. Rubin and Claudio Martins

Don’t miss Sebastiana, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film was curated by Planet Classroom.