Stephen Daldry’s ‘Trash’ Close Rio Festival

Screening marks world premiere for pioneering U.K.-Brazil production

Stephen Daldry’s Universal-distribbed “Trash,” his awaited venture into Brazilian filmmaking and teen-thriller territory, will close the 2014 Rio de Janeiro Festival on Oct. 7.

“Trash” stars Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen and Brazil’s Wagner Moura (“Elite Troop”) plus actor-director Selton Mello (“The Clown”).

The gala screening will mark “Trash’s” world premiere, a matter of import for Oscar pundits given Daldry’s Academy Award track record: “Billy Elliot,” “The Hours” and “The Reader” all snagged Best Director noms, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” made the Best Picture cut.

Written by Richard Curtis and Felipe Braga, “Trash” also reps Daldry’s first teen adventure thriller, and a pioneering Brazil, U.K. co-production which melds top echelon talent from Brazil and the U.K. while staking out Brazil as its home market.

An adaptation of Brit Andy Mulligan’s novel, and set on a massive landfill outside Rio, “Trash” is produced by London’s Working Title and PeaPie and Sao Paulo’s O2 Filmes.

“Trash’s” real protagonists are first-time actors Gabriel Weinstein, Rickson Tevez and Eduardo Luis, who play three kids who live on a garbage dump, and stumble across a leather bag whose contents the brutal and bent city police desperately want back. Mara plays a NGO worker, Sheen a priest.

Universal handles distribution worldwide for “Trash,” which Universal Pictures Int’l. opens in Brazil on Oct. 9.

Shooting summer-into-fall last year, the shoot was the talk of last year’s Rio Festival, thanks in part to a shoot visit for the press, and its large and ingenious special effects – to avoid contamination, the production team built its own artificial landfill and then created a lake below it.

Producers Kris Thykier at PeaPie Films, who optioned Mulligan’s novel, and Andrea Barata-Ribeiro, at Sao Paulo’s O2 Filmes, also presented “Trash” as a co-production case study at the RioMarket.

In industry terms, in at least two ways, “Trash” enters unchartered waters.

The U.K. had yet to ratify its co-production treaty with Brazil, meaning “Trash” was set up as a three-way co-production with Universal in Germany which has a co-production treaty in place with both Brazil and the U.K.

“Trash” also reps a innovative attempt to originate a project in the U.K., but create a new home market – Brazil – for a film, Thykier explained. “Trash” is 80% shot in Portuguese and entirely shot in and around Rio.

So a Rio Fest world premiere is entirely logical. By mid-October, it will be seen if the pioneering strategy pays off in one of the world’s still-growing movie markets.

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