With 39 features produced and 20 more co-produced, Brazil’s LC Barreto celebrates its 50th anniversary this month looking forward to a future more active than ever.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Luiz Carlos and Lucy Barreto, with daughter Paula Barreto as their producer and sons Fabio and Bruno Barreto directors who have been nommed for foreign-language film — Fabio for “Quatrilho” (1995) and Bruno for “Four Days in September” (1997).
Over the years, they have become the unchallenged first family of Brazilian film, producing classic pics including Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ “Barren Lives” (1963) and Carlos Diegues’ “Bye Bye Brasil” (1980), as well as the country’s second-highest grossing local pic, Bruno Barreto’s “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” (1978).
“The main guideline of LC Barreto is to produce films and series with artistic quality, but that can also communicate with the big audiences,” says Luiz Carlos Barreto, 84.
The current slate includes Bruno Barreto’s “The Art of Losing,” the 1950s love story of U.S. Pulitzer-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota Macedo de Soares. The LC Barreto/Goldcrest/Globo Filmes production is aimed at next year’s Berlin Film Festival.
In March, Bruno Barreto will start lensing biopic “Joao,” about Brazilian virtuoso pianist and conductor Joao Carlos Martins.
Company plans to shoot two more features in late 2013 or early 2014: “Bad Guys and Good Girls,” Daniel Tendler’s helming debut; and director Thomaz Portella’s “Sem fronteira” (No Borders), a co-production with Argentina’s Patagonik. Local film industry toppers hail the company for its contribution to Brazil’s cinema scene.
Patricia Kamitsuji, managing director of Fox Filmes do Brasil says, “Every industry has its protagonists. For the past 50 years LC Barreto has made high-quality features, which will always be in the history of cinema and Brazil.”
Sergio Sa Leitao, prexy of the Rio de Janeiro government’s film financing company RioFilme, says, “LC Barreto has played a key role in consolidating Rio as the main film production center in Brazil.”
Looking forward, TV production is an increasingly important business for LC Barreto.
It is working on the third season of travel documentary series “Oncoto” for TV Brasil.
For TV Record it is making 50-minute docudrama, “Rondon, o grande chefe,” and a series of six 50-minute episodes of “Homens de verdade.”
The company’s most ambitious TV project is the Bruno Barreto-helmed documentary series about Brazil’s national soccer team.
Four 50-minute episodes are due to air on top local net TV Globo on the eve of FIFA’s 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.
Half a century of classic pics redefined Brazilian movies
• “BARREN LIVES” (1963)
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
The saga of a Northeast Brazilian family forced off their land by drought.
• “DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS” (1978)
After her i rst husband dies, Dona Flor meets a man who offers her stability. But her i rst husband’s ghost puts them in unexpected situations.
• “BYE BYE BRASIL” (1980)
A road movie about the relationship between two couples of entertainers on a 7,500-mile tour of Brazil.
• “QUATRILHO” (1995)
An unexpected romance between two Italian immigrant couples prompts them to switch partners. A foreign-language i lm Oscar nominee.
• “FOUR DAYS IN SEPTEMBER” (1996)
Based on the kidnapping of American ambassador Charles Elbrik by young idealists in Brazil in 1969. A foreignlingo i lm Oscar nominee.
• “BOSSA NOVA” (1999)
Wrapped in Tom Jobim’s unforgettable standards, a love story that could happen anywhere in the world but takes place in Rio, where life has a special rhythm of its own.
• “THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD” (2003)
Illiterate and unemployed Romao travels 2,000 miles by bicycle with his family of seven, hoping to i nd a decent job in Rio de Janeiro.
• “LULA, SON OF BRAZIL” (2010)
The life of Brazil’s former president, from his birth in 1945 up to 1980, when he got involved in politics.
• Home was HQ for film revolution