Rio fest rife with deals for docus

Shingles to showcase 'Guardians'

The Rio Film Festival, which wrapped Thursday after a 15-day run, provided a backdrop for various documentary deals.

Brazilian production shingles Total Filmes, Buriti Filmes and Boca a Boca, France’s Gloria Films and Portugal’s Fado Filmes unveiled their co-production of helmer Lais Bodansky’s “Os guardioes do samba” (Guardians of the Samba), a docu centered on Rio musicians who keep the samba music tradition alive. Inspired by “Buena Vista Social Club,” pic is due to shoot next year.

Docu will showcase a host of legendary samba artists, including Dona Ivone Lara, Walter Alfaiate, Nelson Sargento, Monarco da Portela and Xango.

Most of the lensing will be at samba schools such as Mangueira, Portela, Imperio Serrano and Salgueiro, located in impoverished Rio areas. Samba schools are responsible for the annual Carnival parade in Rio.

Meanwhile, Brazilian distrib Imovisio snapped up local theatrical rights to Swiss-made docu “Maria Bethania,” about Brazilian warbler Bethania, while Biscoito Fino snagged the local DVD distribution rights.

Peter Raymont, helmer of Sundance sensation “Shake Hands With the Devil,” a docu about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, sold the Portuguese-language publishing rights to Gen. Romeo Dallaire’s book, on which the docu is based.

Local publisher Verbo bought the rights after seeing the feature at the fest.

Docu will air in the U.S. next year on new Nashville-based the Documentary Channel, which outbid other buyers soon after Sundance.

The Rio fest’s market lured more than 900 film and TV producers and distribs this year, organizers claimed.

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