RioFilme closes slate financing deal with Case

Canada’s CD Films and Portugal’s Stopline Filmes have boarded two-part miniseries “Rouge Bresil” (Red Brazil), a high-end Brazilian international co-production.

Marking its final financing mix, “Red” is also produced by Nicolas Traube’s Pampa Films in France and Brazil’s Conspiracao Filmes in association with pubcaster France Televisions, Globo Filmes and Rio Town Hall equity investment and p&a fund RioFilme.

Currently shooting in Rio, “Red” centers on the creation of the French colony in Rio de Janeiro in 1555 and its later destruction in religious wars. Stellan Skarsgard plays colony founder Admiral Villegaignon, and Portugal’s Joaquin de Almeida (“Fast Five”) plays “Red’s” villain, Joao da Silva. France Televisions Distribution has international sales rights.

Conspiracao COO Ricardo Rangel presented footage from “Red,” budgeted at reals 20 million ($11.3 million), at the Rio Film Festival on Wednesday. It is also RioFilme’s first TV investment, made via a minimum guarantee against international rights, added RioFilme prexy Sergio Sa Leitao.

Brazil’s film and TV industry is seeing exponential market growth — theatrical B.O. rocketed 156% from 2005 to 2010’s $756 million while the TV market grew 22% in 2010 vs. 2009 to $12.2 billion. “Red” wasn’t the only first unveiled Wednesday at the Rio fest. Another was RioFilme’s first slate financing deal with a producer, Augusto Case’s Rio-based Case, Sa Leitao told Variety.

RioFilme has taken equity investments in 2011 hit release, Jose Alvarenga Jr.’s “Cilada.com,” which grossed $15.9 million, and two 2013 releases, Felipe Joffily’s “E ai, comeu,” based on Marcelo Paiva’s play, and Mauro Mendonca Filho’s “No Retrovisor.”

The slate financing deal rolls off a local comedy boom in Brazil. RioFilme invested originally in Joffily’s laffer “Muita calma nessa hora,” produced by Case, which grossed $6.5 million in 2010.

In yet another first, as the Brazilian film industry rapidly catches up or surges ahead compared with more established film industries in other countries, RioFilme announced its first analysis of its own investment stats.

Over 2009-11, it has ploughed $33.8 million into 170 projects, spread over festivals, features and shorts. These include 42 features.

Total Brazilian B.O. in 2011 on the five films in which RioFilme has invested is 5.5 million admissions, said Sa Leitao. Rate of return on investment for 2011 has run at about 90%, he added.

Hardly surprisingly, RioFilme wants more: RioFilme and Brazil’s state-backed BNDES bank have now raised $10.1 million for a new fund that will invest from 2012 in companies, Sa Leitao added.

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