CANNES— Rita Toledo’s “The Man Who Talked to Butterflies,” Felipe Sholl’s “Voices” and “Manu De Martino’s “Clamour” are three out of a total of six projects presented on May 19 at a Cannes’ Producers Network industry breakfast.
Films from Rio represents a development and promotion drive by some of Brazil’s major cultural, industry and training agencies, with the program, now in its third edition, taking six projects and their producers to the most important film markets in the world.
“The Marché du Film in Cannes is their final stop, after producers attended and worked at the Rio Festival and then Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur,” said Cannes Film Market’s head of Industry programs Julie Bergeron.
Produced by Carol Benjamin at Daza Film, which backed Leandra Leal’s SXSW Audience Award winner “Divine Divas,” ”Butterflies” is directed by Toledo, the screenwriter of Vinícius Reis’ “Noites de reis.”. It tells the story of Manuela (Leal), who embarks on a search for his husband, lost in the Amazonas. “Butterflies” will be a drama with touches of mystery and suspense, according to Benjamin, who added: “It’s a film about boundaries between people and cultures, but also the boundaries we have within ourselves which we need to cross to become who we are.”
Personal boundaries are also present in “Voices,” directed by Sholl and produced by Syndrome Films, co-producers of Julia Murat’s Berlinale-awarded “Pendular.”
It turns on three very different characters trapped in a luxury apartment. The movie is a “darkly humorous social commentary on ‘Carioca’ society,” said Sholl’s partner producer at Syndrome, Daniel van Hoogstraten, who added: “‘Voices’ draws a Rio de Janeiro mosaic, about the deep abyss between the different cultures, classes and realities, the power struggles that cut across class, gender and age in Brazilian society.” “Voices” is co-produced by Migdal Filmes (Brazil) and Arsam International (France).
De Martino (“So Hard to Forget)” directs “Clamour,” a production of FM Produçoes, the company behind Eryk Rocha’s “Cinema Novo,” and Modo Operante. It’s a political drama focused on true facts: the search of a Uruguayan grandmother for her missing grandchildren, after their parents – two political activists – were shot during Uruguay’s dictatorship. Penned by Chile’s director Dominga Sotomayor, director of ”Thursday Till Sunday,” ”the script is an unprecedented and surprising take on the dark 1970s in South America,” said De Martino.
Also inspired by a real story, Renato Martins’ “Sugarcane” is produced by República Pureza Filmes, which made René Sampaio’s “Faroste Caboclo.” It turns on the family nightmare of parents’ unexpectedly learn that their son has been arrested for drugs trafficking. “‘Sugarcane’ offers a critical view of Rio de Janeiro middle and upper classes, which don’t hesitate to point fingers at other people’s corruption and aren’t able to face their own daily corruption,” said producer Marcello Ludwig Maia.
Alan Minas directs “O deserto de Luíza”, produced by Caraminhola Films, which produced Minas’ “The Dionti Family.” It follows teenager Luíza who faces a dilemma: Whether to take care of her mother or live her first love. Producer Daniela Vitorino said the “aim is to talk about the uncertain future and impotence of a teenager from the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro whose life is changed forever after her mother’s schizophrenia attack.”
Rounding up Films From Rio, ”Wrath of God,” an animated Western is directed by Ennio Torresan, the co-director alongside Otto Guerra of “Until Sbornia Takes Us Apart.” Produced by Renata Fazzio and André Breitman at Apocalypso Produçoes, “God” tells the story of Francisco, a cowboy living in the quiet, barren plains of Bahia, until his family is murdered by the corrupt troops of the government.
“My purpose is to use the dramatic and theatrical language that Glauber Rocha created with his ‘Cinema Novo.’ It makes a perfect marriage with contemporary animation. It should feel like you’re playing a videogame within a story context in a more sophisticated and unexpected way than with any console,” Torresan said.
The Films from Rio program is backed by FIRJAN Federation of Rio de Janeiro Industries, the Sebrae Brazilian Agency for Entrepreneurship and the Rio Film Producers’ Union (SICAV) and Canal Brasil.
FILMS FROM RIO PROJECTS AT CANNES’ 2017 PRODUCERS NETWORK
“The Man Who Talked to Butterflies,” (Rita Toledo, Daza Filmes)
“Voices,” (Felipe Sholl, Brazil’s Migdal Filmes, France’s Arsam International)
“The Luíza Desert,” (Alan Minas, Caraminhola Filmes)
“Clamour,” (Malu de Martino, Modo Operante and FM Productions)
“Sugarcane,” (Renato Martins, Republica Pureza Filmes)
“Wrath of God,” (Ennio Torresan, Apocalipso Produçoes)