Machado to direct pic for production house

Fabiano and Caio Gullane’s shingle, Gullane Filmes, one of Brazil’s top film production houses, has attached Sergio Machado (“Lower City”) to direct drama “Acorda Brasil,” from a screenplay by Brazilian playwright Maria Adelaide Amaral.

Machado’s signing gives Gullane one of the strongest stables of directorial talent in Brazil, with projects and productions from Lais Bodansky (“Mano”), Karim Anouz (“Favela High-Tech”), Hector Babenco (“A Braisileira”) and Cao Hamburger (“Terreno em Berlin”), all name directors in Brazil.

“If there’s one antidote to recession, it’s talent,” Fabiano Gullane said in Berlin Saturday, where he’s talking through co-production deals with potential partners on several of the projects.

A tale about the power of friendship and art, the $3 million “Acorda” is co-produced by the Sao Paulo-based Gullane and Fox Film, which has taken rights to Latin America.

Based on true events, “Acorda” turns on a young petty criminal who, when his musician friend is killed accidently in a shooting incident, sets out to live his friend’s dream of becoming a respected musician. Transformed, he ends up performing in the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has taken Latin America and a first option for the world on “Mano.” Set to start shooting in March, the coming-of-ager is a rare attempt by the Brazilian film industry to target Brazil’s huge teen population, Gullane said. From a screenplay by Luiz Bolognesi (“Birdwatchers”), “Mano” will be edited by Oscar-nommed Daniel Rezende (“City of God”).

Gullane has attached Euclydes Marinho, the scribe of recent Brazilian smash hit “If I Were You 2,” to pen the $6 million-$8 million “A Brasileira” with Hector Babenco, which Gullane will structure as a Brazil-Spain co-production. Sony looks set to take rights to Latin America.

Meanwhile, Gullane has also recast “Terreno em Berlim” (A Piece of Land in Berlin), as a dark-humored fiction film, with docu elements. Based on an episode in the life of director Hamburger (“The Year My Parents Went on Vacation”), Gullane and Hamburger had originally conceived “Land” as a documentary. “Land” turns on a family, spread across the world, which learns it owns a plot of land in Berlin. It marks Hamburger’s first comedy.

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