Embargo Eyes Brazil ‘Plastic Fantastic’ (EXCLUSIVE)

London-based production house moves Brazil-set comedy

RIO DE JANEIRO – Adding to the growing cannon of feature films and TV shows being put into development in time for Brazil’s 2016 Olympics, London-based Embargo Films has attached Brit screenwriter Lucy Moore to write “Plastic Fantastic,” a feel-good comedy romp which turns around different concepts of beauty.

“Fantastic” features two 49-year-old British women who win a bucket at bingo and, as the big 5-0 approaches, decide to spend it on a plastic surgery holiday in Brazil.

The breast augmentation and nose job don’t go quite as planned, courtesy of a mix-up with the paperwork.

On the upside, however, one of the friends finds love with a Brazilian.

“The tone of ‘Plastic Fantastic’ is totally comedy, aimed at a broad audience, the kind that loved ‘Marigold Hotel’ or ‘The Calendar Girls,’ skewing towards 40-plus and female,” said

Embargo producer Christopher Simon, who is at this week’s Rio de Janeiro Festival as part of a BFI-led British delegation to meet with potential Brazilian partners.

“I’m fascinated by our insecurities and the journeys we all have to go on to ultimately find ourselves. There’s always a message in every great movie, especially comedy,” Simon added, saying that now is “a perfect time” to set up a movie with Brazil with the World Cup in 2014 and Rio Olympics two years later.

In other ways, prospects for co-producing with Brazil are also brightening, especially for the U.K., which inked a bilateral co-production treaty with Brazil in September 2012.

It comes into force late 2014.

“The treaty will incentivise creative collaboration between the U.K. and Brazil, as films qualifying under its terms will gain national status in both countries and therefore eligibility to apply for national benefits,” Isabel Davis, British Film Institute head of international said in Rio.

“The U.K. and Brazil have much to gain from a closer relationship, including the ability to pool talent, share stories and resources, and to make films that can attract a wider international audience.”

The number of international co-productions in Brazil has risen fast from three-to-four early last decade to 78 in the last five years, per Andre Sturm, prexy, Cinema do Brasil.

Big Brazilian comedies have been punching huge numbers in Brazil, driving local market share to 18.9% through August.

As Brazilian producers and distribution consortiums see success with local blockbusters, they are also exploring ways of expanding abroad.

One may be shooting abroad with cameos from international actors, such as on Gullane Filmes’ Las Vegas-set “Till Luck Do Us Part 2,” with Jerry Lewis.

Another option could see Brazilian producers taking Brazil and a slice of international on minority Brazilian co-productions. If they also shoot in Brazil, all the better.

A graduate of the Royal Court Theatre’s young writer’s progam, Moore won the BBC Talent new filmmakers award in 2003, was selected by trade publication Screen as a Star of Tomorrow in 2006 and is a Guiding Lights 2013 mentee.

A partner at Embargo, Simon has produced Nick Love’s “The Sweeney,” with Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis, “I, Anna,” with Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne, the British remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s cult crime drama “Pusher,” Cannes Classics entry “Me and Me Dad” and “Still Life,” which premiered at this year’s Venice Festival.

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