Brazil celebrates Basque Country Co-production meeting

SAN SEBASTIAN — Coinciding with a far larger Brazilian presence — in pics, producers and partying — at 2012′s San Sebastian, film export promotion org Cinema do Brasil unveiled Thursday two new export initiatives: a $40,000 Sales Agents Award and a Distributor’s World Cup.

Friday sees a Basque Country-Brazil Co-production Meeting that features projects from production houses such as Dezenove Som e Imagens, TVZero, Kinoosfera and El Desierto Filmes.

CDB’s Sales Agent Award will prize up to five sales agents who secure official selection berths for Brazilian movies at Berlin, Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian and Sundance.

Sales agents can spend their part of the $40,000 on general festival expenses, not just the direct promotion of Brazilian films, said CDB chair Andre Sturm.

Meanwhile, CDB’s Distributor’s World Cup creates a points system rewarding distributors if they buy a Brazilian film, again if they open it theatrically, again if it’s a recent movie. The two highest points-scoring distributors will be invited to 2013′s Rio de Janeiro Carnival; 2013′s winners will be invited to at least one 2014 Brazil World Cup soccer match.

“The idea is to energize international distributors offering them something special,” Sturm said.

Teaming with promotion agency Apex-Brasil, CDB will co-host a Momento Brasil evening Sunday in Paris. Some 170 from France and beyond in Europe have confirmed attendance, said an Apex-CDB press release. Jorge Ben Jor will perform some of his greatest hits.

CDB already operates a Distribution Support Award, a prints and advertising fund that offers foreign distributors up to $25,000 toward P & A on a new Brazilian release.

A sales agent handling a Brazilian film now has two potential aids, Sturm said.

“They can put a film in a festival or, in order to sell the movie, they can say: ‘Apply to Cinema do Brasil’s Distribution Support Award to help the film’s release.’ We’re trying to close the circle.”

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