France’s Dimitri Rassam ‘Going to Brazil’ With BossaNovaFilms (EXCLUSIVE)

Brazil’s BossaNovaFilms also re-teams with Chico Teixeira, preems ‘Absence,’ links to Eaux Vives on “Tudo Bom”

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s BossaNovaFilms is linking to Dimitri Rassam’s Chapter 2, one of France’s most powerful and ambitious production forces, to produce “Going To Brazil,” a Brazil road movie marking the second feature helmed by Portuguese-French actor-writer-and-now director Patrick Mille.

The move comes as BossaNovaFilms, whose production is spearheaded by Denise Gomes and Paula Cosenza, unveils Chico Teixeira anticipated “Alice’s House” follow-up, “Absence,” which world premieres Saturday in Rio’s de Janeiro’s Fest centerpiece Premiere Brasil competition. It is also re-teaming with Teixeira on his third feature, “Dolores.”

To be shot in Brazil, Mille’s follow-up to Carole Bouquet starrer “Bad Girl,” is majority-produced by Rassam via Chapter 2, producer of “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” with Benicio del Toro and Josh Hutcherson, which world premiered at Telluride and Toronto to upbeat reactions.

A road-movie thriller – Rassam describes it as a mix of “Thelma and Louise” and Tarantino – “Going to Brazil’s” main characters are four French girls. Movie also features important Brazilian roles as well, opening up the possibility of a movie, given that both France and Brazil have powerful star systems, that works well in both France and Brazil, two of the world’s biggest film markets.

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“Going to Brazil” forms part of one of the most energetic pushes into international co-production of any film production company in Brazil. BossaNova’s international productions underscore, moreover, the ever-wider breadth of current Brazilian film production.

In another link-up with France, vet Gallic comic Pierre Richard will co-star in “Tudo bom, tudo bem,” Cosenza announced. “Tudo Bom” marks the feature debut of photographer-turned-helmer Willy Biondani, a BossaNovaFilms partner and casting director.

Screenplay is from Cuban Eliseo Altunaga, a script consultant on Chilean Pablo Larrain’s “Tony Manero,” “post Mortem” and “No,” Marialy Rivas “Young & Wild,” and Sebastian Lelio’s “Gloria.”

Paris-based Eaux Vives Productions co-produces. To roll April in Minas Gerais, and an Imagem pick-up for Brazil, “Tudo bom” – which BossaNovaFilms bills as a film about senses – turns on a journalist, who has emigrated from Brazil to Europe, feeing from what he sees as the chaos of the Tropics.

Despatched to Brazil to write an essay refuting the thesis of “the happy noble savage,” in a small city in Brazil’s interior, he reconciles himself with everything he’s run away from, and discovers the power of nature, ancestral rhythms and his own essence.

“What is original about this project is that it has a touch of magic realism about it, which is not very common in Brazilian cinema,” said BossaNovaFilms producer Paula Cosenza.

“Most Brazilian movies – Teixeira’s films, for instance – are very real, almost like documentaries. ‘Tudo bom, Tudo bem’ has a touch of fantasy.”

Teixeira’s third fiction feature, “Dolores,” is co-written with Cesar Turim, who co-penned “Absence.” “Delving deeply into the characters’ souls, as in ‘Absence,’” said Cosenza, the drama turns on the live of an aged but still feisty lady. Teixeira will develop “Dolores” over the next year, with the aid of international workshops. It will be set in Sao Paulo, the longtime adopted city of Carioca Teixeira, as ”Alice’s House,” Cosenza added.

“Dolores” will be structured as an international co-production, per Cosenza. That is par for the course for BossaNova.

It follows on from “Absence,” which Jean-Thomas Bernardini’s Imovision, one of Brazil’s leading arthouse distributors-exhibitors, will distribute in Brazil. Co-produced with Thierry Lenouvel’s Cinesud Promotions and Chile’s Wood Producciones, with whom BossaNovaFilms teamed as a minority partner on Sundance Festival Jury Prize winner “Violeta Went to Heaven,” “Absence” co-stars Francisca Gavilan, who played Violeta Parra, and will attend the Rio premiere, said Cosenza.

BossaNovaFilms, which put up minority equity for “Violeta,” lead produces.

“Absense’s” screenplay is by Teixeira, up-and-coming Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes (“The Man of the Crowd,” “Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures,”), and Sabina Anzuategui, who all worked on “House.,” plus Turim.

A coming of age drama set in the Sao Paulo suburbs – portraits of Brazilian’s big city lives is an exciting building trend in Brazilian production – said Rio Fest co-director Ilda Santiago – “Circus” turns on Serginho, a 14-year-old who has been abandoned by his father and is forced to work in a street market, while struggling with his alcoholic mother, his sexual awakening, tensions with his boss, and the loss of his best friend. A local circus offers the conflicted teenager a sense of escape and safety in a confused world.

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