Rio’s Bubbles Project Clinches Brazilian Distrib Deal on ‘Hopefuls’ with Pandora Filmes (EXCLUSIVE)

Deal a new victory for Locarno winner

RIO DE JANEIRO — In a deal unveiled at this week’s Rio Festival, Rio-based Bubbles Project has clinched a domestic distribution deal for Locarno Carte Blanche winner “Aspirantes” (Hopefuls) with André Sturm’s Pandora Filmes.

Also produced by Luis Albert Gentile’s Crisis Produtivas, and directed by Ives Rosenfeld, the Locarno screening also marked the first work-in-progress and big-screen screening of the first feature from both director Rosenfeld and Bubbles Project producer Tatiana Leite.

Conforming to many cutting edge movies now emerging from Brazil, “Hopefuls” is an accessible character-driven arthouse movie, set against the background of a fast-modernizing Brazil that remains a land of vast social inequality.

Written by Rosenfeld and Pedro Freire, “Hopefuls” revolves around Junior, (Ariclenes Barroso, “Tattoo”), who plays for a small town club in the state of Rio. But he’s not as talented, dedicated or outgoing as his friend (Sergio Malheiros), the team’s star; his girlfriend gets pregnant; his Brazilian Dream fades.

“There are beautiful soccer scenes not often seen in Brazil. There’s poetry in the way the film is shot and amazing sequences which give a good idea of contemporary Brazil,” Bubbles Projects Tatiana Leite has said.

Pandora has acquired all Brazilian rights, save for first pay-TV window, per Sturm.
That window has been sold to paybox Canal Brasil, now a key buyer of Brazilian films.
In a new twist for Brazilian films, “Hopefuls” rollout will “depend on the international career of the film,” said Sturm.

He added: “We have great expectations that the film might be selected for a major international festival. So after that we will be able to plan better.”

Sturm added that Belas Artes, the Sao Paulo artplex that he has just reopened to vibrant attendance levels could now play an important part in “Hopefuls’” launch, helping it to stay in a cinema along enough for potential word-of-mouth to kick in and build.

“This is one of the objectives of the cinema. We want to give films the chance to grow through word-of-mouth. Even more now with the virtual world and social media,” Sturm confirmed.

Sealing a deal with a Brazilian distributor is key for international sales. It is also no slam-dunk. Given the toughness of the Brazilian market for national arthouse movies.
Festival selection, a sale agent deal and upbeat higher-profile fest play will now new next steps in “Hopefuls’” international roll out.

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