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Meirelles sets up films for Universal

O2 Filmes preps projects from Brazilian pair

Fernando Meirelles’ O2 Filmes has set up pics from Brazilian directors Cao Hamburger and Nando Olival that are part of its pact with Universal.

Universal Brazil will handle the films’ local distribution. International distribution will depend on the titles; some may be sold by Focus Features Intl., said Andrea Barata Ribeiro, co-founder with Meirelles of Sao Paulo-based O2 Filmes.

Hamburger’s pic is 1960s-set “Xingu,” which turns on two young brothers discovering Brazil’s Amazonian forest, known as Xingu National Park.

“Cao has an excellent sense of character observation, so I’m sure he’ll bring a lot of sentiment to the film,” Barata Ribeiro said.

Hamburger, who broke through with Berlin competish player “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” is researching for the film.

Olival’s “Round Trip” takes on tourism in Brazil. A commercials director, Olival teamed with Meirelles in 2001 to direct “Maids,” centering on Sao Paulo’s domestic servants. “Round Trip” is skedded to shoot in March. Both pics are Portuguese language.

Focus is selling the Meirelles-directed “Blindness,” produced by O2, Canada’s Rhombus Media and Japan’s Bee Vine Pics. Starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, the drama, which began shooting in July, involves a city succumbing to an epidemic of blindness.

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