Netflix’s push into original localized content in Latin America was bolstered today with the announcement that the streaming giant has secured the services of Brazil’s Prodigo Films to produce “Coisa Mais Linda,”(“So Beautiful”) a period romance set during Rio’s rich Bossa Nova movement of the late ’50s and early ’60s.
The series will be the fourth Netflix original to come from Brazil, following 2016’s science fiction cult-hit “3%,” and the already announced upcoming projects “Samantha!” which stars “City of God” alum Douglas Silva, and “O Mecanismo,” created by José Padilha, producer of “Narcos,” and Elena Soarez.
With twenty-two years of industry experience in advertising, documentaries, television and feature films, partnering with Netflix indicates a definitive move forward for Prodigo, a São Paulo based production company. Having already worked with giants like Fox, HBO and Brazil’s Globo, the move into digital VOD is an obvious next step.
“It doesn’t matter to us as independent producers where people are going to watch. We are a premium content company that provides different material that, at the end of the day, will be shown everywhere,” Prodigo COO and “Coisa Mais Linda,” producer Beto Gauss said in a conversation with Variety.
Prodigo’s films include “Estação Liberdade,” “The Time and Turn of Augusto Matraga,” which swept prizes at the Rio Festival, and, more recently, “Jules and Dolores,” which premiered at the 2016 South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival where it took home the Audience Award in the Visions category.
“Coisa Mais Linda” turns on a woman who has spent her life following the instructions of the men around her, discovering her self-determination after adversity forces her to strike out on her own. Maria Luiza, a traditionally conservative and obedient woman, has her life turned upside down when her husband Pedro disappears. Before going missing Pedro had grand designs on opening a high-end restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. Following the disappearance Maria, contrary to the better judgment of her father, decides to head to the city and dedicate herself to transforming Pedro’s property into a Bossa Nova nightclub. Her arrival in this new world awakens a passionate evolution in Maria as she is, for the first time, exposed to liberalism, feminism and new opportunities for love.
The first season of “Coisa Mais Linda,” will be presented in eight one-hour episodes. Prodigo’s Heather Roth and Giuliano Cedroni created the series and TV veterans Pati Corso, who wrote for the previously mentioned Netflix titled “Samantha!” and Leo Moreira will be writing. The producers of the series are Beto Gauss, Francesco Civita and Caito Ortiz.
Erik Barmack, vice president, Netflix International Original Content, said via a press statement that Netflix was looking forward to continuing to invest in the “incredible narratives” Brazil has to offer.
He added: “Our partners at Prodigo Films have captured just that with the ‘Coisa Mais Linda.’”
In addition to being set in a vibrant era in Brazilian culture, the series tells a broader story about self-discovery, the pursuit of dreams and the emancipation of women, themes that are incredibly relevant to our audience both in Brazil and the rest of the world, Barmack argued.
John Hopewell contributed to this article