Brazil picks 28 films for petro funds

Features to receive cash from oil company

The Brazil government is backing 28 local pics to the tune of 21 million reals ($11.2 million) from funds raised via tax incentives — the largest production investment in Brazil this year.

The 23 fiction pics, four docs and one toon will receive the coin from state-owned oil company Petrobras via the Rouanet Law, a tax-shelter system that allows companies to direct part of their revenue tax to cultural productions.

This year’s commission was criticized for selecting few productions with strong B.O. potential. Helmer Guel Arraes’ “O bem amado,” based on a popular TV series of the 1980s, is perhaps the lone one with box office potential.

The commission gave coin to several productions from tyro helmers such as Claudio Barroso’s “Historia de um valente” and Marcio Curi’s “A ultima estacao.” et helmers with solid credentials included Julio Bressane with his “A erva do rato”; Ruy Guerra’s “Quase memoria”; Tata Amaral, “Hoje”; and Murilo Salles, “O fim e os meios.”

It has additionally picked productions of promising young helmers that are mainly designed for the art circuit but might also have fine commercial perfs, such as Lais Bodanzky’s “Mano,” Heitor Dhalia’s “A deriva” and Paulo Caldas’ “Amor sujo.”

Petrobras releases the coin once a year for features selected by a commission of industry representatives, critics and government authorities. Traditionally, the pics funded by the company, which are mostly in script stage or pre-production, will comprise the bulk of the local production within three or four years.

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