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Salles’ goal: Fit soccer pic

Helmer to take on 'Linha' once he completes 'Water'

Marking a return to his Brazilian roots, Walter Salles will direct the Portuguese-language film “Linha do pase,” set in Brazil’s soccer world.

“Linha do pase” — a soccer term referring to players passing the ball but keeping it in the air — will track four brothers as they try to break into the sport. Their paths cross continually during the film.

“The film will have a lot of movement, and a fiction-documentary feel, something I got interested in while making ‘The Motorcycle Dairies,'” Salles said Tuesday in Cannes.

Pic will shoot in 2005, which would make it Salles’ next pic after completing “Dark Water.”

“Linha do pase” forms part of a new slate of films from Donald K. Ranvaud’s London-based but Latino-themed production house Buena Onda Films. Slate also includes a new project from Brazil’s Fernando Meirelles, director of the Oscar-nominated “City of God,” and projects that will be brought to Buena Onda by “Hellboy” helmer Guillermo del Toro and Ecuador’s Sebastian Cordero, the director of Un Certain Regard pic “Cronicas.”

After finishing “The Constant Gardner,” Meirelles will direct “Intolerance — The Sequel,” a film about globalization set in six or seven different countries — the U.S., Brazil, Kenya, the Philippines, the Arab Emirates — with apparently different plot strands that form part of the same story. Buena Onda will work with Meirelles’ Hollywood agency Endeavor to raise finance for the film.

Del Toro said he is currently “looking for specific projects to do with Buena Onda,” probably as co-productions with his own banner Tequila Gang.

Cordero is also advancing on several projects, to be directed by new Latin American directors, he said.

Launched last Cannes, Buena Onda “aims to ameliorate the sales process, involving directors far more in the presentation of their projects to distributors, and allowing distributors a first-look at a project only if they lodge the best bid,” Ranvaud told Variety.

It will also place a large emphasis on nursing the early careers of directors, he added.

To date, Buena Onda has been the lead investor in four pics: Pablo Trapero’s “Familia rodante” (Rolling Family), about a family’s caravan road trip across Argentina; Colombian Victor Gaviria’s drug trade drama “Sumas y restas” (Additions and Subtractions); Peruvian Alberto Chico Durant’s scam thriller “Doble juego” (Con Game); and Roberto Lanza’s investigation of the cocaine trade, docu “The Cultural History of the Coca Leaf.”

Buena Onda has a further six projects in development, mostly from first-time directors.

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