‘Sex,’ ‘Absence’ clinch co-pro coin

Film fund announces first financing round

MADRID — Two takes on contempo relationships, “El sexo de los angeles” (Sex of Angels) and “Entre a dor e a nada” (Absence) have pulled down key coin from a new Galicia-Brazil co-production film fund.

Unveiled last September at San Sebastian, the fund is backed by Brazil’s National Cinema Agency, Ancine, and the Galician Audiovisual Consortium, the region’s film board.

Each pic will receive Euros 130,000 ($203,060).

Although that may account for 10% or less of a film’s budget — “Absence” costs $2.3 million, says producer Luciana Boal Marinho — the finance reps a significant part of the 20%-or-so-completion funding that producers often struggle to find after tapping traditional sources.

These awards also put producers in good stead to pull down further Galician or Brazilian public funding.

“Sex” is a long-in-the-works project from director Xavier Villaverde – one of the founding fathers of modern Galician cinema.

A romcom, it plumbs generational attitudes towards love, friendship and sex, turning on a young couple whose emotional security is shattered by the arrival of a young man who preaches free-love. Villaverde expects to lense in Madrid and Galicia in early 2009, with cast including Maria Valverde and Martin Ribas.

Pic is a flagship project of Continental Producciones (80%), one of Galicia’s biggest film-TV production houses, and Brazil’s CCFBR Producoes Audiovisuais.

A three-way co-pro, “Absence” is produced by Brazil’s MPC & Associados (50%), Galicia’s Ficcion Producciones (30%) and Filmes do Tejo (20%).

Helmed by Brazil’s Alberto Graca and set largely in Lisbon, the erotic romancer turns on a Brazilian writer of short stories who comes to Portugal to pen an erotic romantic novel. His wife attempts to stimulate his imagination, while he also receives an offer from Spain to adapt his novel for the stage.

“Absence” will enter pre-production in October, and is skedded to shoot in April, said MPC’s Boal Marinho.

In its second round, foreseeably in 2009, the Consortium-Ancine fund will dedicate additional funding to finance Brazilian-Galician docu co-productions.

The fund’s first award announcements were made at the 2nd Galicia-Brasil Audiovisual Meeting, which took place in La Coruna, June 13-20, organized by the Consortium, Galicia’s Secretaria Xeral de Comunicacion, Ancine and Cinema do Brasil, Brazil’s film export board.

The forum was attended by nine Brazilian producers and execs from 14 Galician shingles. It ran parallel to a Brazilian Cinema panorama, whose highlights included Andrucha Waddington’s “House of Sands,” Heitor Dhalia’s “Drained,” Lina Chamie’s “The Milky Way,” and Gustavo Spolidoro’s closer, “Still Orangutans.”