Brazilian Bonanza

Rexa Vella

Brazilian Bonanza

Top Brazilian titles at the Berlin Festival and EFM: 

“Betânia,” (Marcelo Botta)

Botta’s feature debut, produced by Salvatore Filmes, associate produced by Ventre Studio, selected for Berlin’s Panorama. Set in stunning but barren Brazilian sand dunes, Betânia, 65, rebuilds amid global collapse. After losing her husband to a salty diet common in electricity-deprived areas, she seeks solace in a new village, cherishing its traditions. Sales: MPM Premium

“The Best Friend,” (Allan Deberton)

By Deberton, director of award-winning “Pacarrete,” co-produced by Ceara-based Deberton Filmes and Telecine. During a quiet beach trip to Canoa Quebrada, Lucas reunites with his old college friend Felipe, whose free-spirited nature sparks feelings of nostalgia. Sales: Deberton Filmes

“Carnival is Over,” (Fernando Coimbra)

A much awaited title from helmer-scribe (“A Wolf at the Door,” “Narcos”), now in post. Winner of a Sundance Institute global filmmaking award, the thriller centers on Regina and Valerio who live an opulent lifestyle in Rio as heirs to the town’s biggest mobster. They want out of crime. Little hope there. Gullane produces with Fados Filmes, Globo Filmes, Telecine, Videodrome. Sales:  Playtime

“Cidade; Campo,” (Juliana Rojas)

Produced by Brazil’s Dezenove Films and Globo Filmes with France’s Good Fortune Films and Germany’s Sutor Kolonko, with genre auteur Rojas (“Good Manners”) directing and writing two tales of migration that unravel memories and echoes of the past: Joana tries to rebuild her life in São Paulo after a flood submerges her land; Flavia, grappling with the loss of her father, relocates with her wife Mara to inherit his farm.

“The Funeral,” (Carolina Markowicz) 

From Markowicz (“Toll”), the first Brazilian to win a TIFF Tribute Award. Project in development is backed by recent box office leader Biônica Filmes and Portugal’s O Som e a Fúria. At Samuel Herz’s funeral, a surprise mourner appears: a daughter from his extramarital affair. Past revelations and future pacts alter the wealthy São Paulo family’s plans.

“Malu,” (Pedro Freire)

A Sundance hit, helmer-scribe Pedro Freire’s tale about Malu, an unemployed actress in a Rio de Janeiro slum whose memories of her past fame helps her cope with the strained relationship with her daughter and a conservative mother. Produced by Bubbles Project in co-production with TvZERO, Canal Brasil, Telecine. Sales: Pluto Film

“Mangrove’s Son,” (Eliane Caffé)

Co-penned by Caffé (“The Cambridge Squatter”) and regular co-scribe Luis Alberto Abreu and produced by Pe ́Na Estrada Filmes. A man shows up injured and amnesiac in a riverside community. Accused of stealing public funds, he’s put on trial. Sentenced to solitary confinement, he searches for a new purpose in life. Sales: FM Produções

“New Eden,” (Aly Muritiba)

By Muritaba, director of hit Prime Video series “Cangaço Novo,” project turns on Damião, a young black priest who arrives in Nova Éden, a village in southern Brazil. He finds that a beloved miracle worker has won the hearts of his new parish, while dark forces lurk nearby. Co-produced by Grafo Audiovisual and Fado Filmes.

“Our Sons,” (Rebeca Diniz, Pedro Waddington)

Diniz and Waddington, helmers of acclaimed Globoplay series “Under Pressure,” return with a tale about two affluent teens who set a woman on fire, killing her. Will their privileged parents shield them by concealing the truth? Inspired by Herman Koch’s bestseller, “The Dinner.” Co-produced by Conspiração Filmes and Globo Filmes. Now in post.

“Shikun,” (Amos Gitai)

An Agav Films, Ventre Studio and CDP co-production, directed by famed Israeli filmmaker Gitai, screens as a Berlinale Special. Inspired by Eugène Ionesco’s play, the film, an allegory, shot in Israel depicts the rise of intolerance and totalitarianism among the diverse residents of a social housing building, a shikun. Sales: Visit Films

Shikun

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