CANNES – Brazil, which hosted shoots of “Fast Five” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 1),” has bowed a Brazilian Film Commission Network, Brazil, a significant step forward in its drive to attract big international productions.
Steve Solot, former MPA SVP Latin America, and now Rio Film Commission prexy, has been tapped as its exec director. In a first move, made at Cannes Film Market, Kevin Clark, exec director of the Assn, of Film Commissioners Intl. (AFCI) and Solot announced a new basic framework agreement. Pact sees the new Network joining AFCI, its logo and contact information being displayed on its web, and Network members accessing AFCI University courses.
“The AFCI Affiliate Membership provides for access by international producers to the entire Brazilian film commission network throughout the country,” he said.
“Brazil is too big and diversified to fit into a single box, geographically, culturally and politically, he added.
One immediate Network objective is to facilitate information, while a second is training. Solot’s Latin America Training Center, which he set up after ankling the MPA, has already published a Guide for Brazil Film Commissions.
Contributors include Clark, Jean Prewitt, IFTA prexy-CEO, and Rob Aft, at Los Angeles’ Compliance Consulting, Fabio de Sa Cesnik and Fernando Moraes Quintino at Cesnik, Quintino & Salinas, legal counsel to the Brazilian Film Commission Network. Italian Film Commissions prexy Stefania Ippoliti, and producer Leonardo M. Barros, at Conspiracao, who entitles his essay “The Audiovisual Producer’s Best Friend.”
The Network will now hold workshops, the first a two-day course in Santa Catarina’s Florianopolis, a second in Rio Grande do Sul’s Pelotas, Solot said.
The Brazil Film Commissions Network launches as Film Commissions are opening over Brazil, part of its vigorous regional film industry build, a film production hubs emerge in many parts of Brazil. The Network has nine established members: Rio and Sao Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul’s Garibaldi, Santos in the Sao Paulo state, Bahia, Minas, Santa Catarina’s Balnerario Camboriu, the Amazonas and ECine, an initiative of the Sao Paulo Town Hall. 16 more, no less, are in the process of launching, four in Brazil’s underserved North in Pará’s Belem, Maranhao, Fortaleza and Recife.
Anteing up Brazil’s big shoot lure, its real depreciated 36% against the dollar since last Cannes. Rio’s 2016 Olympics is focusing the world’s eyes on Brazil, and has sparked a slew of Brazil-focused movie and TV productions. Backed by such trade bodies as Sicav and Siaesp, the Rio and Sao Paulo audiovisual assns., as well as export board Cinema do Brasil and the Brazilian Independent TV Producers Assn (ABPITV), the Brazilian Film Commissions Network forms part of a powerful drive by Brazil’s state into film and TV.
One large challenge remains, said Solot. Despite the real’s fall against the dollar, Brazil’s still remains an expensive place to shoot compared to, say, neighbor Colombia. Unlike Colombia, and also Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic, it doesn’t offer tax credits to international productions.
“We are losing business to Uruguay, Chile. There’s a danger that Brazil could become almost the only country in Latin America which doesn’t offer incentives to international productions,” Solot said.
The Network is known in Brazil by its Portuguese-language acronym, REBRAFIC.