Brazil has selected “Bingo – The King of the Mornings,” one of its most awaited debuts of 2017, as its entry for next year’s foreign-language Academy Award.
Produced by Brazilian production powerhouse Gullane, “Bingo – the King of the Mornings'” candidature also marks a victory for Warner Bros. whose Brazilian office co-produced the title, which will be distributed in Latin america by Warner Latin America.
The submission, voted on by a commission of over 200 film specialists, was announced by the Brazilian Film Academy. It appears to have avoided the polemics of last year’s choice when the publicly declared animosity of one member of the candidature jury towards Cannes competition title “Aquarius” caused three filmmakers to refuse to submit their film for consideration.
Long-anticipated, “Bingo – The King of the Mornings” was chosen from among 22 contenders. It marks the first feature as a director of Daniel Rezende, an award-winning editor on Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” José Padilha two “Elite Squad” movies and Walter Salles’ “Motorcycle Diaries.”
Also Brazil’s entry for the 2018 Spanish Academy Goyas, “Bingo” is inspired by the figure of real-life actor and evangelical pastor Arlindo Barreto, one of the thesps who played Bozo the Clown in 1980s Brazil. In Rezende’s films, Augusto is an artist who becomes a TV clown host on a 1980s’ children show, an anonymous celebrity who wins fame and fortune, but at expense of alienating his son.
Brazil’s Oscar entry marks the third time in four years that a production has been chosen from Brazilian production powerhouse Gullane, after its animation feature “Rio 2096, A Story of Love and Fury” was chosen in 2014 and Anna Muylaert’s “The Second Mother” in 2015. Gullane has two other Oscar candidates: “Carandiru” in 2003 and “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation” in 2008.
“The film talks about a very current issue in the industry nowadays, an artist’s absolute ego-driven search for fame. Here, he finally finds it, it is at the cost of losing touch with real life and what really matters,” said producer Fabiano Gullane, at Gullane.
“The film speaks with ‘Birdman,’ Jim Carrey’s career transition and all that Robin Williams stood for. It is a very universal film that we are hoping reaches the grand scale it was born for,” Gullane added, saying that Rezende’s main influence was Martin Scorsese and that he is “a sure bet for the future of filmmaking not only in Brazil but it is impossible for Hollywood to miss such a natural rising star.”
“Bingo – The King of the Mornings” is written by Luiz Bolognesi, whose “Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury” won the top Golden Cristal award at the 2013 Annecy. Intl. Animation Film Festival. “Narcos” co-cinematographer Lula Carvalho served as DP.
Brazil’s latest nominations date from 1999 when Salles’ “Central Station” scored one in the foreign-language category and another for best actress (Fernanda Montenegro).