Film festival traveler: Rio

Event focuses on local Brazilian talent

See Competition Lineup

Latin America’s largest film fest unspools its ninth edition Sept. 20-Oct. 4, with a country focus on China.

The main platform for Brazilian premieres, the Rio Intl. Film Fest opens with the world bow of Jose Padilha’s “Elite Squad,” which was produced by local Zazen Producoes, Universal Brasil, the Weinstein Co. and Costantini Films.

“Elite Squad” will be the first of about 300 pics to be screened, with fest programming exec director Ilda Santiago expecting to sell more than 250,000 tickets.

The Premiere Brasil slots some 37 features, with 20 having premieres in the fest, says Santiago, including Lucia Murat’s “Mare, nossa historia de amor” and Murilo Salles’ “Nome Proprio” competing for the Redeemer Prize, named after the famous Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado Mountain, a symbol of the city. But the true prize for filmmakers is the opportunity to screen their pics to about 250 international showbiz guests in addition to local film industry toppers.

“Premiere Brasil has gained importance in the past few years. We managed to create a local film highlight within an international festival,” says Santiago, and he quickly adds that many international producers, fest programmers and sales agents attend the fest to have a chance to see the best of Brazil’s annual production in one site.

Focus China will feature the screening of 12 recent pics and eight classics from the 1930s and 1940s. The program will open with “The Knot” by helmer Yin Li, who will be in Rio. Helmer Jia Zhang-ke will also attend the fest to present his pic “Useless.” Zhang Yimou’s “Curse of the Golden Flower,” Lichuan Yin’s “The Park” and Yang Zhang’s “Getting Home” are some of the other recent Chinese pics in the fest. A 20-person Chinese delegation — featuring execs and talent — is expected to attend.

“China is a key partner for Brazil,” says Santiago. “There are already two Brazil/China co-productions on course. Our goal is to allow Brazilian moviegoers to know more about Chinese films and to foster international co-productions.”

Industry types can also get away to RioMarket, with 200 participants gathered in a large tent on Copacabana beach. RioMarket includes seminars, one-on-one meetings and screenings of local and foreign pics.

The beach mart has positioned itself as a market for all media windows, including video-on-demand, mobile phones and IPTV. Norm Bolen, Alliance Atlantis’ exec VP of content, and Rob Williams, acquisition exec at Red Envelope, are some of the new media speakers skedded for RioMarket.

“RioMarket positioned itself in the vanguard of world markets, as we offer business opportunities for all windows,” says RioMarket exec director Walkiria Barbosa.

COMPETITION LINEUP

FICTION
“A casa de Alice,” Chico Teixeira
“Deserto feliz,” Paulo Caldas
“Estomago,” Marcos Jorge
“Mare, nossa historia de amor,” Lucia Murat
“Mutum,” Sandra Kogut
“Onde andara dulce veiga?,” Guilherme de Almeida Prado
“Sem controle,” Cris D’Amato
“O signo da cidade,” Carlos Alberto Riccelli
“A via lactea,” Lina Chamie

NONFICTION
“Andarilho,” Cao Guimaraes
“Condor,” Roberto Mader
“Diario de sintra,” Paula Gaitan
“Estrategia xavante,” Belisario Franca
“Memoria para uso diario,” Beth Formaggini
“O engenho de ze lins,” Vladimir Carvalho
“Panair do Brasil,” Marco Altberg
“Pindorama — A verdadeira historia dos 7 anoes,” Roberto Berliner, Lula Queiroga, Leo Crivelare
“PQD,” Guilherme Coelho
“Rita Cadillac, a lady do povo,” Toni Venturi

HORS CONCOURS FEATURES
“Brigada para-quedista,” Evaldo Mocarzel
“Grupo corpo 30 anos — Uma familia Brasileira,” Fabio Barreto, Marcelo Santiago
“Iluminados,” Cristina Leal
“Jogo de cena,” Eduardo Coutinho
“Juizo,” Maria Augusta Ramos
“Mulheres sexo verdades mentiras,” Euclydes Marinho
“Nome proprio,” Murilo Salles
“Pequenas historias,” Helvecio Ratton

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