×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Walter Salles: ‘ ‘Noah’s Ark’ Holds a Very Dear Place in the Memory of Brazilian Children’

Salles’ VideoFilmes, Gullane, NIP ally for the animated feature project, which is being moved at Annecy (EXCLUSIVE)

ANNECY — Brazil’s Walter Salles (“Central Station,” “The Motorcycle Diaries”) is teaming with Gullane, producer of Venice closer “Amazonia,” to produce “Noah’s Ark,” a flagship Brazilian animated feature.

Sergio Machado (“Lower City,” “The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell”) is attached to write and direct, adapting the evergreen children’s songs and lyrics of Vinicius de Moraes.

“Noah’s Ark” marks Salles’ first incursion in animation.

Sao Paulo-based, Gullane, however, produced Luiz Bolognesi’s “Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury,” which last year won the Annecy Animation Festival’s top Cristal Award, animation’s biggest international kudo.

“Noah’s Ark” is set up as a co-production between Salles Rio-based VideoFilmes, Gullane, which also produced Fernando Coimbra’s San Sebastian, Rio, Miami and Guadalajara-winner, “A Wolf at the Door,” and Daniel Greco’s Nucleo Independente de Producao (NIP). A production supervisor and story editor for “Rio 2096,” Greco is at France’s Annecy Animation Festival to talk to potential international co-producers and to search for talent.
In Cannes this year as its Cinemas du Monde patron, Salles is overseeing artistic development on “Noah’s Ark.”

“We take all decisions together but having Walter Salles supervising artistic matters clearly is a privilege,” said Gullane’s Fabiano Gullane (pictured), one of the pic’s producers.

A towering, eclectic figure in last-century Brazil, Moraes composed “The Girl From Ipanema,” co-wrote the first Bossa Nova songs, and was the playwright of “Orfeu de Conceicao,” which Marcel Camus turned into Academy Award and Palme d’Or winning movie “Black Orpheus.”

Two of Moraes’ compositions were included on the soundtrack of Claude Lelouch’s “A Man and a Woman.”

Machado is developing the story in collaboration with filmmaker Suzana de Moraes, the artist’s daughter.

Said Salles: “’Noah’s Ark’ holds a very dear place in the memory of Brazilian children. Several generations of Brazilians have been informed by the unique intelligence and poetry of Vinicius de Moraes’ songs for his ‘Noah’s Ark.’ The fact that each song is so original is probably what allowed Moraes’ ‘Noah’s Ark’ to defy time, and be so dear to us.”

He added: “I have two children, who are now seven and five. They are enamoured by the same songs that I was mad about when I was their age. Fabiano Gullane has children the same age as well. This is why we are doing the film.

Toon pic “Noah’s Ark” turns on two bohemian mice that witness God’s telling Noah to save one male and one female of each animal species. While Tito embark on the Ark, Vivinho ends up on a clandestine small ark, along with animals that exist on the fringe of the animal kingdom. Destiny reunites them on Noah’s Ark where they battle a raging storm, lack of food and the maneuvers of a tyrannical lion with their capacity for invention, music and poetry.

“Noah’s Ark” marks the first big co-production between VideoFilmes and Gullane. Production development is fully financed by Rio de Janeiro investment fund RioFilme, Globo Filmes, the film arm of Brazil’s TV giant, Brazil’s Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual (FSA), which is Brazil’s biggest film-TV subsidy fund, and coin from VideoFilmes and Gullane, said Fabiano Gullane.

Script development is advanced, he added. The producers are testing animation aesthetics and concepts from different animators.

“We had to be faithful to Vinicius De Moraes’ unique wit, and to the political incorrectness that allows his work to be so original and modern. It also implied developing characters and creating an architecture that could be at the same time well-rhythmed and emotional,” Salles said.

“The screenplay is now ripe, and we’re presently working on finding the best possible way to translate it to the screen.”

“Noah’s Ark” aims to be “touching, good-tempered, and full of humor and action,” Gullane added – “quality family entertainment for 6/7-year-old children upwards, distinguished by its aesthetics and production values, using contemporary elements and with dialogue that children nowadays can understand.”

The animated feature will include Moraes’ songs, performed by top Brazilian artists.

Moraes’ original “Noah’s Ark” has inspired numerous adaptation, including a Globo TV musical, “Vinicius Para Crianca – A Arca de Noe,” which won a 1981 International Emmy in the popular arts category, plus a NATPE Iris Award for best foreign program and an 1982 Ondas Award in Spain.

“The beauty of starting to do animation now in Brazil is that you can reinvent it with the help of the latest technology and talented young artists,” Salles said.

“Gullane Films has proved that it is possible, with ‘Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury’ being recognized in a festival as important as Annecy.”

“This year, three Brazilian animations have been selected by Annecy, which is great news for all of us. To master the technology is important, but we’re conscious that what should remain at the heart of the story is what is inherently human. This is what moved us in the first place.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

  • Soul Movie

    Pixar's 'Soul' Announces Voice Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey to Star

    Disney debuted a first look at upcoming Pixar film “Soul” at the D23 expo in Anaheim, Calif. and announced its star-studded voice cast. “Soul” imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content