Brazilian distributor Vitrine Filmes has taken local distribution rights to Marina Person’s coming-of-age drama “California,” one of the six pics-in-post vying for plaudits at Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte this week.
The feature debut of Brazilian Maria Person, a former MTV host, “California” also marks an early venture into feature fiction film by Sao Paulo-based production company Mira Filmes.
Co-produced by Lauper Films, pic shot in Sao Paulo and the nearby beach of Barra do Una, starring newcomers Clara Gallo and Caio Horowicz alongside Caio Blat (“Forbidden to Forbid”), Paulo Miklos (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) and Giovanni Gallo (“Pedro & Bianca”).
Set in Sao Paulo, in the early ’80s, when AIDS suddenly seemed a potential epidemic and was still without an effective treatment, film narrates how teenage girl Estella (Clara Gallo) gets through the troubled phase of adolescence, discovering sex, love and friendship.
Everything falls apart when Estella’s uncle Carlos (Caio Blat), her personal refuge, confidant and cool music counselor, comes back from California weak and ill, changing her way of seeing the world.
Film will be ready for delivery around June 2015, said Gustavo Rosa de Moura.
“California” lured the interest of Primer Corte programmers, Rosa de Moura said, “maybe because of the juxtaposition of Estela’s teenage crisis and the issues of the ’80s – which still resonate in Brazilian society. From that, emerges an interesting intersection between the individual and History.”
He added: “Estela’s coming-of age-story is mixed with the history of Brazil, creating a symbiosis in which an internal experience is always mirrored by the concrete reality of the world around it.”
Co-founded 2011 by Gustavo Rosa de Moura, Marina Person and Carmem Maia to produce original content for film, TV and Internet, Mira Filmes is also finishing production on Brazil-Portugal co-production “Coming Home,” Rosa de Moura’s feature fiction debut as a director.
Indie distrib Vitrine Filmes, run by Silvia Cruz, focuses on the distribution of Brazilian films. Recent titles handled by Vitrine includes Davi Pretto’s celebrated Figa Films-sold docu/fiction “Castanha,” which screened at Berlin and is part of a new and rapidly burgeoning Porto Alegre film scene.