Brook Silva-Braga

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Brook Silva-Braga
Born (1979-03-27) March 27, 1979 (age 36)
Rhode Island
Residence New York City
Occupation cinematographer, director, producer
Employer The Washington Post
Known for Documentary A Map for Saturday, award-winning associate producer for cable TV (HBO)

Brook Silva-Braga (born March 27, 1979)[1] is an American documentary film producer. He shared a Primetime Emmy Award for his production of Inside the NFL. He is best known from his documentary, A Map for Saturday, in which he produced, directed, and starred. This award-winning film is about his adventures as a backpacker for 11 months in 2005, in which he stayed in various hostels, and was released in 2007. His second film, One Day in Africa, was released in 2009. In 2011 his third film was released, The China Question. He is currently an on-air reporter for The Washington Post and freelances for CBS Newspath.

Early career[edit]

Silva-Braga was born and raised in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and was a producer for HBO's Inside the NFL, for which he shared an Emmy Award.[2]

A Map for Saturday[edit]

Making of the film[edit]

Silva-Braga quit his job with HBO "and he threw it all away" to travel around the globe for almost a year in 2005, with a video camera and equipment to record his adventures.[3] It all started when HBO sent him to Asia for work on another story, and he discovered an underground network of backpackers, which enchanted him.[4]

"When I got home I decided to take my own big trip," he said. "The only reason not to go was I would be sabotaging my career, so the movie was an excuse to take this big trip and not feel like I was throwing away my career."

—Brook Silva Braga, as quoted by Morgan Greer.[5]

When he quit his job with HBO, his supervisor told him that, in the future, he'd only send married producers overseas.[6] After he finished the film, he said that it had changed his outlook on life:

(T)ime and money are commodities with an inverse relationship; you need to spend one to have the other. And traveling cheap makes you realize that time is more valuable than money.

—Brook Silva Braga [3]


What I realized—not just about myself but about the world—is that time and money are commodities with an inverse relationship; to get one you need to spend the other. And I realized, for me, time is a more valuable commodity than money, so I’d rather hoard free time than extra money. Most travelers end up feeling the same way and its one reason why they find the return home so difficult, our society is built on the premise we should want more money so we can have more things, even if we don’t really have the free time to use those things.

—Brook Silva Braga [4]


The film is billed as "around the world in 90 minutes."[7] Its title describes the feeling that, "On a trip around the world, every day feels like Saturday."[8] When "everyday is Saturday, each new person an instant best friend," you need a guide to how to deal with "always saying goodbye, and loss of connection(s)."[9] Silva-Braga stays in hostels around the world, showing us the "hot spots" of backpacking adventure—Australia, Southeast Asia, India, and London—and out-of-the-way places like Brazil, Nepal, and Thailand.[8] He was forced to pack only five pounds of clothes, because of his 30 pounds of video equipment, and stay in many hostels to save money.[7] He interviews various hostellers and fellow travellers along the way as he investigates how and why people take long-term, budget travel.[10][3][11]


The documentary premiered at the 2007 Cleveland International Film Festival, where it was screened four times.[12][13] This film fest is a competitive one, drawing 43,000 attendees, 950 submissions, but only 180 films screened in 250 showings; this film was screened 4 times rather than the average 1.38 times of the typical film at the festival.[14] The Cleveland Film Society, organizers of the film festival, created a live podcast during a panel interview with him.[15] The local affiliate of ABC interviewed him while he was in town for the film festival.[16]


A Map for Saturday was screened in Paris, France, shortly after the camera Silva-Braga used to film it was stolen.[17]

The Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) is also screening the film at selected universities, colleges, and public libraries through its hostel councils.[18][19]

A Map for Saturday was screened on the MTV network's "True Life" series, episode 58.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

The film has garnered mostly excellent reviews.[citation needed] Sean Keener, CEO of BootsnAll Travel Network, wrote that it was "well done" and praised the filmmaker as "a good story teller."[21]

The indieWIRE web site reviewed the premiere in Cleveland, stating that "director Brook Silva-Braga, despite having incredibly honorable intentions with his backpacking documentary, A Map For Saturday, misses an opportunity to provide insight about a group of people..."[22]

Recent programs[edit]

Silva-Braga posted a series of blogs at, which is affiliated with AOL,[23] as well as posting at TheInterviewPoint.[24]

On November 10, 2007, Silva-Braga was the keynote speaker at the national conference of Hostelling International USA in Washington, D.C.; HI-USA sponsored an essay-writing contest called "The Big Trip" to celebrate this event.[25][26][27]

In January 2009, he completed his next documentary, "One Day in Africa".[28]


  1. ^ Back cover of "A Map for Saturday DVD.
  2. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Presents the 24th Annual Sports Emmy Awards" (PDF). National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. April 21, 2003. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Purnell, Newley (November 6, 2006). "And He Threw It All Away...". Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Tezza, Interview with the Director of "A Map for Saturday", October 15, 2007, found at 4 Eva Young web site. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  5. ^ Morgan Greer, Memphian's trip to hit screen in May, The Daily Helmsman, March 21, 2007, found The Daily Helmsman. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  6. ^ interview. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Melinda J. Benson, Filmstrip Tease, found at Northern Ohio Live web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Melizer, Blog, found at Kaboodle web site "Movies to See" blog
  9. ^ Kevein Kelly, Cool Tool: A Map for Saturday, review, found at Kevin Kelly's web site. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  10. ^ A Map for Saturday official web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  11. ^ web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  12. ^ Cleveland International Film Festival official web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  13. ^ Benson, Melinda J. Filmstrip Tease, found at Northern Ohio Live web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  14. ^ Film Festival World web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  15. ^ Cleveland Film Society Podcast roll. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  16. ^ YouTube clip of ABC-Cleveland interview. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  17. ^ Music Slut blog posting
  18. ^ Bryant University official web page November 2007 news release. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  19. ^ Albany Public Library official web page. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
  20. ^ MTV web site True Life episode 132188 page. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  21. ^ Sean web site
  22. ^ indieWIRE web site review of A Map For Saturday. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  23. ^ Across Northern Europe with Brook Silva-Braga and other Blogs. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  24. ^ TheInterviewPoint blog. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  25. ^ A Map for Saturday official web site
  26. ^ HI-USA official web site. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  27. ^ vagabondish web site. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  28. ^ One Day in Africa website. Retrieved January 16, 2009.

External links[edit]