Machado set for ‘Tropicalia’ docu

Meirelles, Revolution to produce film

Fernando Meirelles (“Blindness”) and Brazilian shingle BossaNovaFilms are teaming with Andrew Eaton and Michael Winterbottom’s Revolution Films to produce “Tropicalia.”

Directed by Marcelo Machado (“Ginga: The Soul of Brazilian Football”), “Tropicalia” is a docu featuring the short-lived but influential late-’60s music and art movement, led by composers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, mixing popular rhythms, political activism and international elements — rock and Portugal’s fado.

Many Tropicalia figures were forced into exile in 1968 by Brazil’s military dictatorship. Tropicalia influenced David Byrne, Beck and the Super Furry Animals, and a generation of young Brazilians.

“Their art had a big influence on me when I was a teenager,” Meirelles said. “Everything was very liberating.”

Docu “Tropicalia” was originated by Maurice James’ L.A.-based Mojo Pics, which took the project to Meirelles, who then brought in director Machado and Bossa Nova, one of Brazil’s biggest commercial, film and TV companies with a strong music bent.

BNF’s Paula Cosenza, who worked in London, then approached Andrew Eaton and Josh Hyams from London-based Revolution Films.

Revolution has a natural connection to documentaries and music-based films, said BNF founder Denise Gomes.

Meirelles is working on “Tropicalia” as an independent producer outside his own shingle, o2 Filmes, which doesn’t have a tradition in docu filmmaking, he said.

Both Meirelles and Winterbottom look likely to take exec producer credits.

Putting up minority financing, Revolution’s role will be to tap U.K. co-financing, including TV and DVD, said Revolution’s head of TV Josh Hyams.

“Straight away, Andrew was interested in the idea because he is a big music fan,” Hyams said. “Obviously we have kind of been there with ’24 Hour Party People.’ Michael [Winterbottom] is just finishing up ‘The Shock Doctrine,’ which deals in part with South America.”

“Tropicalia” will shoot in London and Brazil, and will feature an English-language narrator.

Calling for extensive pre-production, including the recovering of archive footage from Brazil’s TV Record, it will shoot later this year or early 2010, said Gomes.

“Tropicalia” has tapped 35% of funding from the Paulinia Festival, a further 15% from Sao Paulo municipal authorities. Both sources are tax-driven.