FiGa Takes ‘Man’ Off the Table

L.A. company takes world sales rights to latest Marcelo Gomes movie, which debuts in Rio

In a preemptive swoop, Los Angeles-based FiGa Films has acquired world sales rights on “The Man of the Crowd,” which world premieres Sunday at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival.

One of the highest-profile world premieres at the Rio Fest, which opened Thursday with a gala screening of Thierry Ragobert’s 3D live action jungle adventure movie “Amazonia,” “Man” marks the latest film from Marcelo Gomes, who co-directs with Cao Guimaraes.

One of a clutch of Brazilian director who broke through to international recognition in the first half of last decade, Gomes is also given to collaborations: He scripted Karim Ainouz’s 2002 hit “Madame Sata” with Ainouz and Sergio Machado (“Lower City”), teamed with Ainouz again for the screenplay of his own debut, “Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures,” which played Cannes in 2005.

Picking up on themes of loneliness and a search for love first explored by Gomes in his second feature, road movie “I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Want,” a directorial two-hander with Ainouz, “Man” is once more set outside Sao Paulo and Rio, like all Gomes’ other films, unspooling in Guimaraes’ native city of Belo Horizonte.

Departing from the set-up of Edgar Allen Poe’s 1840 20-page short story, the big-city set “Crowd” tells a love story between two solitary people,” in Gomes’ description, here a metro driver who likes to study crowds, and a station controller, who seeks out relations via social networks.

Playing in the Rio Fest’s centerpiece section, Premiere Brazil, “Man” stars theater actor Paulo Andre and young actress Silvia Lourenco (“Drained”).

Produced by Brazil’s Beto Maglhaes and Joao Vieira III for Cinco Em Ponto and Rec Productores, “The Man of the Crowd” is “about loneliness and bonding in the big city. It has a sepia fading Instagram photo look and a silent movie 1:33:1 square format, like ‘Tabu.’ It’s just to die for,” said FiGa-founder Sandro Fiorin.

“Man” cinematographer Ivo Lopes Araujo, who shot ‘Girimunho,’ ‘After the Rain,’ and “When I Was Alive,” the new film from Marco Dutra (“Hard Labor”) is “the new star of Brazilian cinematography. This is the film where people will recognize his talent,” he added.

Belo Horizonte-based experimental Brazilian jazz group O Grivo, that scored Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness,” composed “Man’s” music.

Breaking in new directors and nursing relationships with established talent, FiGa already represented “I Travel…”

“It really is such an honor for us to have this incredible artist as part of our pool of talented directors,” Fiorin said of Guimaraes.

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