Affonso Segreto

from pioneer filmmaker

One of four Italian immigrant brothers, the others being Gaetano, Luiz and Paschoal (?-1920), the latter a showman who opened Brazil's first film house in Rio de Janiero in 31 July 1897. In 1898 Affonso Segreto became the first native Brazilian to produce films in that country, following the introduction of the Lumière Cinématographe (appearing under the name 'Omnigrapho', a rare example of the machine being billed under a name other than its own, if it was indeed the Cinématographe) at Rio de Janeiro on 8 July 1896. Segreto returned back from Europe in June 1898 with a Cinématographe and began to film a wide number of actuality and news events, from local scenes to presidential activities, for a number of years, but cinema took some years to become established in Brazil owing to the lack of a fully developed electrical system. The Segretos remained key figures in the Brazilian film industry in the first decade of the century, when native production dominated the market, and Affonso had particular success with the popular genre of filmed recreations of notorious local crimes.

Luke McKernan