×

Europa Filmes Backs ‘Rio 2096’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Groundbreaking international sales first for Brazil

ANNECY — For Brazil, the 37th Annecy Animation Film Festival, which opens today, marks multiple significant firsts, all underscoring the mounting muscle of the toon industries in emerging markets.

For the first time, a Brazilian movie, “Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury,” screens in competition at Annecy.

A pioneering toonpic targeting adult audiences, produced by Sao Paulo’s Gullane (“Tabu,” “Amazonia”) and helmed by first-time director Luis Bolognesi, who wrote “Brainstorm” and “Birdwatchers,” “Rio 2096,” is sold internationally by Wilson Feitosa’s Sao Paulo-based Europa Filmes.

Europa Filmes’ international sales division reps the first move by a big Brazilian movie distributor-producer to leverage its escalating local market clout into an international sales push. It will also be attending Annecy for the first time.

“There are a lot of quality Brazilian films being released and to be released that lack international representation,” Feitosa told Variety.

Arguing that Brazilian films sometimes get lost in the crush of U.S. and European titles in international sales catalog, he added: “We know that there is a big Brazilian community around the world that would like to have access to these titles; the world is looking toward Brazil more than ever; VOD is coming on strong and can be a facilitator for reaching audiences.”

Europa Filmes will take both Brazilian and international rights on Brazilian movies, sometimes also co-producing these titles. It also contemplates moving into third-party pickups.

Ex-Studiocanal exec Soizic Gelbard is heading up international sales at Europa Filmes; Beatriz Cifu, formerly at Gullane, serves as international coordinator.

A hand-drawn 2D toon pic, “2096” turns on four milestones in Brazilian history: 1500, when it was discovered by Europeans; 1800, the height of the slave trade; 1970, during military dictatorship, and a futuristic 2096.

“History is usually written by its winners. ‘Rio 2096’ is told from the viewpoint of its losers,” said Gullane Filmes founder Fabiano Gullane, who with Bolognesi will attend an Annecy Features at Noon Q&A on Friday.

Europa Filmes will rep live-action movies, such as ‘80s Brazilia-set “Faroeste Caboclo,” an urban Western that adapts a rock ballad by Renato Russo, the towering figure of Brazil’s post-punk scene. Bowing May 30, “Faroeste” grossed a first-weekend R$6.6 million ($3.1 million) in Brazil.

Feitosa’s shingle will also be pushing further into Brazilian animation, however, co-producing “Clube secreto dos monstrous” with Paulo Boccato.

“There is a growing demand worldwide for local animation, especially for adults,” Feitosa said.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

  • ‘Bears Famous Invasion’s Lorenzo Mattotti Brings

    Lorenzo Mattotti on MIA Title ‘Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily’

    Illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti is no stranger to film festivals. The artist – a long-time New Yorker cover artist and onetime Lou Reed and Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator – has designed posters for past editions of Venice and Cannes, and has contributed to films that played in Toronto and Rome. This year, however, he experienced the festival [...]

  • Dreamworks Abominable

    'Abominable' Release in Malaysia Abandoned

    Plans to release the increasingly controversial Chinese-U.S. co-produced animation film “Abominable” in Malaysia have been dropped after the distributor said that it would not be cut to cater to political sensitivities. The film includes a scene which depicts a map showing the South China Sea and the so called “nine-dash line” that China uses to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content