Brazilian city follows Paris, New York
Following Paris and New York, Rio will be the next city in French producer Emmanuel Benbihy’s Cities of Love franchise.Like “Paris, je t’aime” and “New York, I Love You,” “Rio, Eu Te Amo” (Rio, I Love You) will comprise shorts by established helmers, each set in a different neighborhood of the city. Benbihy has been developing the Cities of Love series since 2000. His development company, Ever So Close Inc., has designed and structured the Cities of Love franchise in order to sell Cities one-picture licenses, with Rio being the first. The next episode produced by Benbihy will be “Shanghai, I Love You.” Production on the pic is expected to begin in the fall to be completed in time for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Primum Entertainment Group has acquired the “Rio” license, and will lead the co-production with its Brazilian partners Oz Producoes, Limite Producoes and Bossa Nova Films. Pic will be an official Brazilian co-production. Rio de Janeiro-based Limite will coordinate physical production; its involvement brought Bossa Nova and Rio’s film investment agency, RioFilme, to the production team. Benbihy will exec produce. Meanwhile, RioFilme has committed to a development investment with Primum. The deal gives RioFilme the opportunity to distribute the film in Latin America and confirms a direct participation by the city of Rio. Benbihy, Primum’s CEO Joshua Skurla and director Oliver Kwon sealed the licensing agreement in Cannes. “We will have up to three Brazilian directors and as many as three U.S. directors. The other directors will be of different nationalities,” said Luiz Vidal, president of Limite.