Brazilian filmmaker Humberto Mauro played a key role in developing his country's cinema. Born in Volta Grande, Brazil, Mauro began experimenting with film in 1925 as an amateur. Two years later, he made his professional directorial debut. In 1930, producer Adhemar Gonzaga invited Mauro to come to Rio where his career took off. Seldom seen outside Brazil, the films of Mauro, such as Ganga Bruta (1933), were characterized by their high production values and quality stories that were quite different from the hastily produced, highly commercialized ventures then in distribution. Mauro usually wrote the scripts, decorated his own sets, and worked as the cinematographer and occasionally as an actor in his films. In addition to making feature films, Mauro also made over 200 documentary shorts such as A Velha A Fiar (1964).