Project focuses on endangered local species

RIO DE JANEIRO — The National Geographic Channel has unveiled plans to make its first documentary in Brazil under new regulations that require foreign pay TV programmers to invest in local productions.

The news came at the Programming & Production Forum, Brazil’s largest TV event, which wrapped Thursday. Discovery also revealed plans for local productions at the three-day confab in Sao Paulo.

National Geographic Channel regional director Abel Puig said the company would work with indie producer Grifa on doc “Animais do Brasil” (Animals of Brazil), about endangered local species; project could evolve into a series.

Meanwhile, politico Jandira Feghali criticized the media industry for lobbying against a controversial new law under debate in the lower house of Congress that would require national broadcasters to devote part of their programming to shows made in the states where they have stations.

Local media group Rede Brasil Sul VP Pedro Parente, who took part in a discussion panel with Feghali, said many local stations would not be able to afford the costs.

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