Forget about ‘Red Belt’ or Nicholas Cages’ ‘Jiu Jitsu’ movie – there’s a new BJJ movie in the works that I’m sure many of the BJJ community will be interested to watch – ‘O Faixa Preta’. Rumours started circling of the film in 2019, but now it is actually in the works. ‘O Faixa Preta’ or ‘The Black Belt’ (translated from Portugese) will be a full length feature film directed by Caco Souza about the life and story of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt phenomenom Fernando ‘Terere’ Augustus. The film doesn’t yet have a release date, but is actively in the works – for updates on the film follow their Instagram @ofaixapretaofilme
Canadian Black belt Riccardo Ammendolia announced on his YouTube channel that he has had communications with the producers of the movie and gives us a first-hand insight into the new jiu jitsu film – ‘O Faixa Preta.’
Fernandos ‘Terere’ Augusto’s Early Days
Fernando ‘Terere’ Augusto is a black belt under Alexandre Paiva, who was born in the year of 1980 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – and if you didn’t already know – he is one of BJJ’s biggest legends. A natural born talent for the sport, he had competed and done very well as a child, so Otavio Couto invited him to train at his academy with some of Alliance Jiu Jitsu’s top black belts.
In 1997 he won the IBJJF World Championship (Mundials) as a blue belt, then winning 1998 world championship as purple belt, 1999 world championship at brown belt before winning the 2000 mundials (three years later) as a black belt defeating Antonio ‘Nino’ Schembri. There isn’t much information about Tereré as a child, however it is widely known that he was raised in poverty in one of the Major Slums in Rio de Janeiro called the ‘Morro do Cantagalo’.
In 2000 Terere got to the final of the Middleweight Black Belt division (in his first year as a black belt) and won his first major title as black belt. Terere became a black belt world champion at the age of 20 and was regarded as a Pound for Pound best during the early 2000s. In 2004 Terere decided to try his luck in the Super Heavyweight Division as opposed to Middleweight, and he almost pulled it off, but lost in the final to a significantly larger opponent – Fabricio Werdum.
Sadly Around 2004 – at the Height of His Competitive Career – It Was Cut Way too Short
After claiming three black belt world titles, sadly around 2004 – at the height of his competitive career – it was cut way too short by a tragic drug addiction and mental health problems. From 2004-2011 Terere was absent from the BJJ scene as his life seemingly spiralled downwards. According to Bloody Elbow, he was arrested in 2004 for causing a disturbance on an American flight, but it was soon revealed he was suffering from mental health disorders. He was forced to do time in an American prison and his inability to speak English or Spanish worsened his mental health issues. He then developed an addiction to crack cocaine, Terere had battled with his addiction on and off since then. In 2006 he experienced a brief recovery and returned to training but he relapsed several times, leading him to needing some more time off.
A Comeback Like No Other
Fernando endured his fair shares of ups and downs, but around 2012 we saw him competing again. After a few times in rehab, Terere returned to the mats in 2012, and ended up fighting and winning a small black belt tournament in Mexico.
After nearly 11 years off top black belt competition, Terere returned to Brazil spending more time in a clinic to recover from his (now officially disclosed) case of schizophrenia and went on to compete at the European Championship in 2013 and won silver. He lost one fight by reaping the knee and getting disqualified due to it being illegal; but unfortunately Terere had no idea what reaping even was, as it was legal back in his earlier days of fighting.
The film will bring in highlights of the most memorable moments in his career. Such as the emotional moment when former student Alan do Nascimento, or ‘Finfou’ is seen on the mat at the European Championship to be handing Terere something – and what he was handing him was his black belt.
Ammendolia explains that the back story there, was a long time ago when Terere was going through some problems in his life, he tried to sell Finfou his black belt for money (five reals) so he could get some stuff and Finfou said, “Ok I’ll give you some money, but I’m going to hold on to this, and I’m going to give it to you one day when you’re back” – and sure enough he did – at the Europeans.
When Fernando Terere made his 2012 comeback, he returned to jiu-jitsu competition, fighting and winning countless superfights such as in the Gracie Pro and Polaris as well placing second in the IBJJF European Championship – an undeniable talent and BJJ superstar.
Terere’s was beating some of the top level fighters of the new generation including a win against Vitor Shaolin at Polaris in a superfight in 2016. He fought Shaolin back in 2001 Pan Ams Finals – 15 years before and lost, so to come back after his hiatus and beat Shaolin shows what an undeniable relentless talent Terere is.
After taking a step back from competition, Terere as decided to focus on his health and training and teaching at his gym in Conte Carlo. Terere also found time to promote the sport amongst those less privileged creating an academy in the “Morro do Cantagalo” the Favela (slum) in which he grew up. The purpose of this academy was to take kids off the streets and off gun crime and this academy proved to be a huge success doing just that.
Throughout his far too short of a career, Terere has won countless tournaments including multiple World Championships, multiple Pan American Championships, Multiple Brazilian National Championships, and multiple World Cup Championships. Terere’s life really has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and to be able to re-enact his life in a visual format will really be able to show others what a journey he has been through.
The movie will about Terere’s story; coming up and getting introduced to jiu jitsu, coming off the streets, meeting people like Alexandre Paiva, his career and him at the (multiple) World Championships amongst other highlights and historical moments, as well as the dark periods in his life – and showing him getting rehabilitated, getting back on the mats and bouncing back like the true champion he has always been – to help others through his story. This should be something we have never seen before, a delight to the jiu jitsu and martial art community as a whole.
A true inspiration and BJJ Legend. I can’t wait for the release of ‘O Faixa Preta’ (albeit uncertain) but I just know it’s going to be fantastic.
Here is Some of the Cast. Recognize Any Names? More Names to be Announced.
Jonathan Azevedo – Fernando Tererê
Isabel Filardes – Dona Lena
Lui Mendes – Tio Barriga
Raphael Logam – Alan Finfou
Jefferson Brasil – Leandro Martins
Marcelo Novais – Alexnadre Gigi Paiva
Leo Leite – Fabio Gurgel
David Reis – Humberto
Bernardo Mesquita – Rodrigo Comprido
Paolo Sampaio – Elan Santiago
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