Locarno Talent: Brazil's Bubbles, Carte Blanche

An international co-production, Gustavo Pizzi's sophomore pic also teams Brazil's Baleia Filmes, Uruguay's Mutante Cine and Germany's Pandora

Rio-based outfit Bubbles Project, the producer behind Locarno Festival’s Carte Blanche 2014 Prize winner “Hopefuls,” is teaming with Brazil’s Baleia Filmes, Mutante Cine in Uruguay and Germany’s Pandora Film to co-produce Brazilian filmmaker Gustavo Pizzi’s sophomore pic, family drama “Benzinho” (Loveling).

Produced by Tatiana Leite at Bubbles Project and Baleia Filmes’ Gustavo Pizzi, project was selected in 2013 for Cannes’ Cinemas du Monde section and Belo Horizonte’s CineMundo, plus Rotterdam’s CineMart in 2014.

A writing collaboration between Pizzi and his wife, actress Karine Teles, “Loveling’s” script turns on Irene (played by Teles), a mother who will have to deal with the imminent departure of her elder son. Brazilian thesps Otavio Muller and Ingrid Guimaraes are also attached to the film.

“We want to shoot next year in the cities of Petropolis and Araruama in Rio state,” Tatiana Leite told Variety at Locarno.

Bruno Wainer’s Downtown Filmes, the largest Brazilian film distributor for local pics, will handle the film in Brazil, Leite added. Telecine, the Brazilian pay TV operator, is also on board.

“It is not so easy to make art films in Brazil, but this film boasts potential crossover appeal,” Leite said.

Pizzi’s feature-length debut, the acclaimed 2010 drama “Craft,” with a standout performance from Teles, screened in over 40 international film festivals, including South by Southwest, Cartagena, Havana and Guadalajara.

For Bubbles Project, Ives Rosenfeld’s Carte Blanche 2014 Prize winner, soccer drama “Hopefuls,” a co-production with Brazil’s Crisis Produtivas, marks the company’s first film to hit post-production.

Bubbles launched 2012 aiming to develop and produce audiovisual projects, including pics, TV series and film festivals, with its main focus on arthouse film. Co-founder Leite previously worked as a film programmer at the Rio Intl. Film Festival for eight years and as a coordinator of the Rio Film Commission.

Alongside Paris-based MPM Film’s Juliette Lepoutre, Leite is also producing “Pendular,” Brazilian Julia Murat’s follow-up to its 2011’s multi-awarded village tale “Found Memories.”

Turning on a romantic couple of contemporary artists, “Pendular” won Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Award for script development, Ibermedia and RioFilme funding; distrib Vitrine Filmes will distribute the film in Brazil, Leite said.

Also in development is Brazilian legit director Christiane Jatahy’s second film, relationship triangle story “Other Times,” one of the projects selected at last year’s Puentes Europe-Latin America producers workshop, penned by Jatahy and actress Mariana Lima, which Leite and Jatahy produce.

As an associate producer, Bubbles’ Leite takes part in Guilherme Coelho’s Amazon region-set magic fable “Orphans of Eldorado,” based on a Milton Hatoum’s novel, a Matizar Filmes production which Downtown Filmes will also distribute in Brazil.

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