Breaking Out of Brazil: Co-Production Upsurge Fuels Growth

Variety | 5/10/2018 | Anna Marie de la Fuente
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Brazil’s Directors’ Fortnight entry “Los Silencios” typifies a growing breed of Brazilian films, shot in multiple locations and in co-production with one or more countries. Beatriz Seigner’s cross-border drama about a Colombian family fleeing the armed conflict in their native country was co-produced by Seigner’s Miriade Filmes and Leonardo Mecchi’s Enquadramento Prods. (“The Trial”), along with France’s Cine-Sud Promotion and Colombian shingle Dia-fragma.

“We shot mainly in Colombia so the key crew members were Colombian — and mostly women,” says Cine-Sud’s Thierry Lenouvel, who is co-producing Anita Rocha’s next film, “Medusa,” with Vania Catani’s Bananeira Filmes and is boarding two other Brazilian films in development: Dezenove’s Vietnam-set “The Paths of My Father” by Mauricio Osaki and BossaNovaFilms’ “To Our Children,” by actress-helmer Maria de Medeiros.

Argentine - Helmer - Lucrecia - Martel - Period

Co-producing Argentine helmer Lucrecia Martel’s acclaimed period drama “Zama” “was a lot of work but the rewards were high,” notes Catani, one of Brazil’s most prolific producers, adding, “It has opened a lot of doors for me,” she says.

Collaborations have allowed Brazil’s filmmakers to work with higher budgets, and tap the cachet, expertise and distribution ties of their partners. “New Brazilian filmmakers now start their careers with the international market in mind,” says Andre Sturm, founder of overseas promotion organization Cinema do Brazil. Even some of the more seasoned ones are open to expanding their films’ appeal beyond Brazil, he observes.

Releases - Co-productions - Year - Tally - Leila

In 2017, out of 225 domestic releases, 22 were co-productions, nearly double that of last year’s tally of 13, according to Leila Bourdoukan, executive director of Cinema do Brazil.

Key backing from the Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual (FSA), a fund managed by state-run film and TV agency Ancine, grew exponentially from R$38 million ($11 million) in 2007 to R$749 million ($217 million) a decade later.

FSA - Grants - Films - Innovation - Relevance

The FSA grants funding to films of “artistic innovation and relevance” and minority co-productions,...
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