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Rio Signs First U.S. City Pact With Atlanta

Partners look to hike shoots, co-financing, create knowledge alliance

RIO DE JANEIRO — Two of Rio de Janeiro’s key film authorities – film-TV investment fund RioFilme and the Rio Film Commission – inked Tuesday in Rio a film/TV co-operation pact with Atlanta, Georgia, its first such agreement with any city in the US.

Deal is the second North American pact signed by Rio in the space of a month after it announced at Toronto a production pact with the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The Atlanta-Rio framework accord was sparked by the visit of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to Rio in April, who is looking to expand the reach of Atlanta’s The Office of Entertainment.

“This is the first time we have reached an agreement with a U.S, city which has a totally different incentive system,” Rio Film Commissioner Steve Solot said at Rio.

One major challenge is how to help producers take advantage of incentives in Georgia and Brazil. Differences between the U.S. and not only Brazil but most international countries include creators’ retaining moral rights, the U.S.’s lack of enabling co-production treaties with foreign countries; timeframes on Brazilian incentives awards, a leitmotif at this year’s RioMarket Film debates in the case of the Brazilian system.

Including Candace Byrd, Chief of Staff of the Office of Mayor Reed of Atlanta and Laronda Sutton , director of the City of Atlanta Office of Entertainment, the Atlanta delegation in Brazil has met with key players on Rio and Brazil’s film scene: Brazil’s powerful ANCINE Film-TV Agency, which channels much of the government’s film-TV subsidy coin; RioFilme, which takes equity positions in the production and distribution of Rio movies and TV productions; and giant broadcaster Globo’s giant Projac Studios, one of the biggest production complexes in the world.

The next step, Solot said, is to arrange a joint meeting of producers from Atlanta and Rio.

Given the intricacies of expansion into international, not just in Brazil but beyond, and the relative lack of coverage of many foreign industries in comparison to Hollywood, the Atlanta-Rio agreement is also a knowledge alliance.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed Tuesday night at the Rio. Int. Film Festival, the partners will initiate and ultimately create an international network designed to share ideas and best practices on domestic and international film production and promotion.

Also on the agenda, they will provide guidelines on how best to produce film and audiovisual projects in both Atlanta and Rio de Janeiro, and jointly prospect for companies in emerging countries which are seeking to expand internationally, with a view to selling Atlanta as a primary North American base and Rio de Janeiro as a primary South American base.

The signing formed part of a traditional American Day program at RioMarket, which included the Brazilian premiere of Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash.”

“As Brazil pushes into more ambitious projects which invite co-production, there’s a need to open up fluid relations with countries most versed in co-production. Canada, which has launched a string of commercial missions in Latin America, is one of the most interesting candidates.

Rio Film Commission’s agreement with the Ontario Media Development Corporation envisages film producer trade missions between Ontario and Rio and screenings and information exchanges to encourage partnerships and co-productions.

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