Tejo, Ficcion, MPC team on ‘Absence’

Brazil, Spain co-productions on the rise

MADRID — Portugal’s Filmes Do Tejo and Spain’s Ficcion Producciones have inked with Brazil’s MPC & Associados to co-produce “Entre a Dor e o Nada” (Absence), helmed by Brazilian Alberto Graca.

Set largely in Lisbon, the erotic romancer turns on a Brazilian writer of erotic short stories who comes to Portugal to pen an erotic romantic novel. His wife attempts to stimulate his imagination, while he also receives an offer from Spain to adapt his novel for the stage.

“Absence” will roll in the second half of 2008 from a screenplay by Graca and Portugal’s Jose Pedro Santos, with MPC putting up 50% of finance, said MPC producer Luciana Boal Marinho, speaking at the Madrid presentation of Spain’s 1st Novo Cine Brazilian Showcase and Meetings.

Brazil-Spain co-productions have been rare to date: only six since 2001, said Manoel Rangel, head of Brazil’s National Cinema Agency, Ancine.

But their number now look set to build.

At September’s San Sebastian fest, Ancine and the Galician Audiovisual Consortium announced a new film fund to boost co-productions between the two territories.

Capitalized with Euros 120,000 ($168,912) put up by the Galician Audiovisual Consortium, and Reais 300,000 ($161,147) from Ancine, the fund will finance two Brazil-Galicia co-productions a year. It will kick in from April 2008, Andre Sturm, director general of Brazilian film export board Cinema do Brasil, said in Madrid.

The San Sebastian fest also hosted the first Co-Production Meeting between Spanish and Brazilian producers, organized by Cinema do Brasil and Spain’s Fapae producers’ association.

Novo Cine saw some producers return to Spain to advance co-productions. Director-producer Andrucha Waddington (“House of Sands”) confirmed that top Brazilian production house Conspiracao, in which he’s a partner, was advancing on plans to produce films in Spanish.

Producer Assuncao Hernades told Daily Variety that she had two majority Spanish co-production projects under negotiation in Spain.

First to roll could well be “El rey del mundo,” about a Spanish journalist who goes to Brazil.

Running Nov. 13-16, Novo Cine’s Showcase of Brazilian Cinema features a six-pic recent movie panorama. Highlights include “Sands,” Marcelo Gomes’ 2005 fest fave “Movies, Aspirin and Vultures,” and “Drained” from Heitor Dahlia, whose next pic, “Adrift,” kicks off Universal’s production deal with Fernando Meirelles’ o2 Filmes.

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