The movie “Elite Squad,” Costantini’s first production, was heavily pirated yet still went on to gross $3.8 million in the 10 days after its Oct. 5 release. Those numbers made it one of the biggest openings for a Brazilian film since the early 1990s.
Producing and acquiring feature films with the Weinstein Co. via a joint venture Latin Film Fund, Costantini typifies a new breed of Latin American film producers. He comes from a seriously wealthy background, which gives him enviable financial grounding, and he also has a real yen for all kinds of filmmaking. This producer is as much at home with left-of-field niche items (sans TWC, Costantini Films picked up the sexuality-themed “Destricted” for Argentina) as he is with market-friendly pics like “Squad,” a social-issue actioner inspired by Brazil’s elite BOPE special operations police squad.
Through his TWC connection, Costantini brings worldwide distribution muscle to productions and pickups. “The Queen,” a Latin Film Fund pickup for Latin America, took in 1.5 million admissions in the region. Expect more Fund news shortly: it’s negotiating, for instance, with Penelope Cruz for a movie to roll in Argentina and Uruguay.