RIO DE JANEIRO — Nixing – momentarily, at least – one of the most promising of new pan-Latin American production partnerships, Daniel Burman, director of Berlin Grand Jury Prize and Silver Bear winner “The Lost Embrace,” said his Argentine label, BD Cine, had pulled out of co-producing with Brazil.
Reason: The time it takes for Brazilian co-producers, however competent, to navigate the inordinate bureaucracy in order to package their part of a films’ co-pro financing.
In large contrast, Burman said he was “filled with happiness” working in Brazil as a script doctor on the tentatively-titled “The Polish Girls,” a ‘3os-set Globo TV series.
“Daniel Burman the writer is in heaven in Brazil, Daniel Burman producer has been in hell,” Burman told Variety at this week’s RioMarket.
As an enthusiast for Brazil, and international co-production, it’s questionable just how Burman and BD Cine will be away from Brazil’s co-pro table.
BD Cine’s giving up on co-production in Brazil “in no way dampens my desire to still co-produce with the country. I’ve just decided to ask myself: ‘What can I do?¡ what can’t I do?’” Burman said.
For the moment at least, BD Cine’s withdrawal puts on hold a multi-pic production alliance between BD Cine and Walkiria Barbosa’s Total Filmes announced at Ventana Sur in 2012 which aimed to see the two partners, among the most important movie producers in Latin America, co-produce Burman’s “The Mystery of Happiness” and his upcoming “The King of Once.”
Despite being one of Brazil’s most experienced producers, Total was unable to attain a nationality certificate for “Happiness” – triggering tax-credit investment from Brazil – in time for its production start, dictated by the windows of availability of its two popular Argentine leads, Guillermo Francella (“The Secret of Their Eyes,” “Corazon de leon”) and Ines Estevez, in her big-screen comeback.
Total honored its co-production commitment via private investment, but was unable to access funding dependent on Brazilian nationality.
Barbosa said Brazilian producers assn. SICAV was now negotiating with ANCINE to cut through the swathes of bureaucracy faced by the Brazilian partner on an international co-production. Advances are expected by year-end, she added. The kry, meantime, was to make sure Brazilian financing was packaged before locking production.
Meanwhile, BD Cine will now produce its upcoming The King of Once,” as a 100% BD Cine production, Burman said.
A father-son dramedy and “original return to my roots,” said Burman, “The King of Once” is set in Buenos Aires’ Jewish district. It turns on a father who runs the community’s charity foundation, but seems unable to aid his own estranged son.
It stars Julieta Zylberberg (“Wild Tales”) and Alan Sabagh (“I Love You All”), “a truly extraordinary Argentine comic actor who, had he been born in the U.S., could have been Ben Stiller,” Burman said.