Produced by Vania Catani’s Bananeira Films and helmed by Brazilian actor-turned-director Selton Mello, whose “The Clown” was Brazil’s Oscar entry, “A Movie Life” adapts the book “Un padre de pelicula” by Chilean Antonio Skarmeta, one of whose other novels was turned by Michael Radford into “Il Postino.”
A rites-of-passage story of big dreams in 1960s small-town Brazil, it turns on Tony, who returns from college to his home town in the sleepy sierras of southern Brazil. His father has fled home. Tony becomes a teacher, courts a local girl, and frequents a cinema in a neighboring town that harbors a shocking surprise.
Cassel, who speaks fluent Portuguese, will play Tony’s father. Mello, who appeared recently in Stephen Daldry’s “Trash,” will also take a role in “A Movie Life,” playing a friend of the father. The actress playing Tony’s mother will be announced shortly. The role of Tony is currently casting, said Catani, who added that Cassel’s presence in “A Movie Life,” could open the doors to co-production with France.
Currently in prep, and financed in part by Brazil’s Fundo Setorial Audiovisual state film fund, “A Movie Life” will shoot from April in Brazil’s Serra Gaucha in southern state Rio Grande do Sul.