Countries present projects at the Berlinale

German-Brazilian co-productions are on the rise, with filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic eager to tell stories that explore intercultural themes while tapping domestic sources of soft money.

Brazilian and German filmmakers gathered at the Brazilian embassy in Berlin on Monday to present their upcoming projects, two of which are set to lense this year in both countries — “Bach in Brazil” and “Praia do futuro” (Beach of the Future).

Berlin director Ansgar Ahlers’ “Bach in Brazil” follows a retired music teacher from Leipzig who travels to Ouro Preto after inheriting a long-lost original sheet of music and ends up teaching music to Brazilian kids in a juvenile detention center. German thesps Ulrich Tukur (“The White Ribbon”) and Katharina Thalbach and Brazilian’s Fernanda Montenegro (“Central Station”) star.

Ahlers is co-producing “Bach in Brazil” with Leonardo Barros, who heads the Hamburg-based international office of Brazilian film and TV company Conspiracao.

Barros is also co-producing an English-language romantic drama by director Marco Kreuzpaintner (“Trade”) about a London woman who falls for a young man from Rio. Kreuzpaintner’s Berlin shingle Summerstorm is co-producing.

Also shooting this year is “Praia do futuro” by Brazilian-born Berlin-based helmer Karim Ainouz (“Madame Sata”) and co-produced by Georgia Costa Araujo of Sao Paulo-based Coracao da Selva Transmidia and Andro Steinborn’s Berlin-based Arden Film. Pic follows a young man from Fortaleza who travels to Berlin to reunite with his brother.

Brazil notched its biggest box office hit ever last year with “The Elite Squad 2,” which is screening in the Berlinale’s Panorama section.

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