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New Films Reveal Changing Dynamics at Locarno Intl. Film Fest

Later this year, the Locarno Intl. Film Festival’s pics-in-post showcase, Carte Blanche, will screen seven films from Brazil before shifting to a focus on Asia for next year’s edition.

“Latin America is one of the most dynamic regions of world cinema, with lots of new filmmakers, stories and creative energy,” says Locarno’s head of international Nadia Dresti. “These countries have a lot of imagination and address difficult topics with a lighter, universal approach.”

Promo org Cinema do Brasil is prepping a 15-film shortlist, with the final line-up unveiled by Locarno in July.

“Locarno is an opportunity to address the whole world,” says Cinema do Brasil prexy Andre Sturm. “Securing contacts with international sales agents plays a key role in achieving a wider global presence for Brazilian films.”

Cinema do Brasil offers $25,000 to distributors releasing Brazilian pics internationally, and $40,000 for films picked up by sales agents after official selection screenings at Cannes, Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian and, importantly, Locarno.

A major delegation of 17 Brazilian producers will attend Carte Blanche.Locarno’s organizers act as matchmakers for visiting pros, scheduling key meetings with over 100 festival programmers and more than 50 international sales agents.

Brazilian auteur films are garnering critical praise and festival presence, as recently demonstrated by Daniel Ribeiro’s “The Way He Looks,” a Fipresci award winner in Berlin’s Panorama section.

Sturm believes that the Carte Blanche line-up will include new perspectives on Brazil’s emerging middle class. “Whereas in the past, many Brazilian auteur films have focused on underprivileged social groups, urban violence, police relations, etc., there’s now an increasing focus on new family relations within Brazil’s growing middle class.”

Carte Blanche’s best film will be awarded $11,100, but the biggest attraction is to secure play dates in other fests and deals with sales agents.

Last year’s winner, Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ revenge thriller “To Kill a Man,” subsequently competed at San Sebastian’s Films in Progress, was picked up by Spain’s Film Factory Entertainment and grabbed the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

The Locarno Festival runs Aug. 6-16.

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