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Brazilian distrib, pay TV net line up 20 films

Imagem, Telecine will make the pics over two years

Local indie distrib Imagem and pay TV net Telecine have announced eight Brazilian features for theatrical release in 2012 and 12 for 2013.

Imagem and Telecine co-produce the pics, holding 15% to 50% of the equity in each production, whose individual budgets range from $2.3 million to $6.7 million.

Local companies such as Conspiracao, Gullane, TV Zero, LC Barreto and Bananeira will make the features, which are in different stages of production. The list also includes Brazil-U.S. and Brazil-Argentina co-productions.

Imagem, which will invest incentive coin, will release the pics theatrically.

Telecine, which has VOD and pay TV rights to the films, will invest via incentives and its own resources in a 50-50 split. It will also promote the releases on its seven movie channels.

Two pics with strong B.O. potential are scheduled to open in the first quarter next year.

Ad director Afonso Poyart’s feature debut, “Dois coelhos” (Two Rabbits), a “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”-like pic with state-of-art action and vidgame-style animation, is due to open Jan. 20. Helmer Jose Eduardo Belmonte’s comedy, “Billi Pig,” starring Selton Mello, is scheduled for March 2.

Vet helmer Antonio Carlos da Fontoura’s “Somos tao jovens,” a biopic about deceased local rock star Renato Russo, is due for July 20. Marcelo Machado’s “Tropicalia,” a doc about Brazil’s musical movement, is set for a second-half release.

Films in pre-production include Lula Buarque de Hollanda’s “O vendedor de passados,” a Conspiracao production based on Angolan author Jose Eduardo Agualusa’s book; Roberto Berliner’s biopic “Nise da Silveira,” about a local revolutionary psychiatrist, produced by TV Zero; and Bruno Barreto’s “The Art of Loosing,” a co-production of Brazil’s LC Barreto and the U.S.’s Goldcrest that’s based on the true love story of American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota Macedo Soares.

The co-production is Pablo Frendrik’s “El ardor” (Bananeira and Magma).

Carolina Jabor’s “Cordilheira,” an RT Features project, is seeking an Argentine co-production partner.

“Imagem released 30 features in 2011, of which seven are Brazilian and accounted for 35% of the company’s total ticket sales in the year. In 2012, we aim to increase our local films’ share to 50%,” said Abrao Scherer, Imagem’s partner director.

Telecine is a joint venture of Globo group’s Globosat, which holds 50%, and Fox, Paramount, Universal and MGM, which hold 12.5% each.

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