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IDFA: FiGa Films Signs as Sales Agent on Brazil’s ‘Building Bridges’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The film examines the macro of Brazilian generational differences through the micro-lens of the director's relationship, or lack there of, with her father

International sales agent and distributor FiGa Films have signed on to represent Brazilian documentary “Building Bridges,” an Official Selection player at this year’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

From its inception in 2006, FiGa has focused on acquiring the best of new Latin American cinema, and has since expanded their reach into North America, Europe and Africa and include films from a wide range of genres. Its current involvement with “Building Bridges” fits the company’s MO of joining projects early, and helping place them in the right festivals before eventual multi-territory releases.

Of the new sales arrangement FiGa co-founder Sandro Fiorin told Variety, “I’ve admired Heloisa’s work as a cinematographer for years. When she told me about her feature project as a director I was instantly intrigued. Little did I know it would become such a powerful and poignant film.’”

Heloísa Passos is one of Brazil’s most prolific and lauded cinematographers going today and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Over the past 25 years, she has racked up a daunting C.V. with numerous recognitions including a Sundance Cinematography Award for 2007’s “Send a Bullet.” She focuses primarily on documentaries. Recently Passos has been diversifying her resume, picking up duties as director and producer on a number of projects.

In her role as a producer, Passos works alongside Tina Hardy at their company Maquina Films. The company’s stated goal is to “contribute to contemporary cultural production with creativity and responsibility.” To that end, Maquina has also developed ideas into books, photographs, and exhibitions, always with a social conscience.

“From the beginning we always thought to have FiGa with us. We really appreciate their catalog. Sandro likes the same films we like, and it’s important to us to have an international sales with experience in auteur film,” Hardy said.

She elaborated: “’Building Bridges,’ is a personal film, and for us it is a privilege to have FiGa with us, because they are more than sales agent, they are cinephiles and friends.”

“Building Bridges,” is a personal examination of the generational differences that have faced Brazil in recent history. Passos uses her often-estranged relationship with her family, particularly her father, to highlight ways that contentious subjects can be exacerbated by such differences.

Her father Alvaro was an engineer and looks back fondly on the years when the country was run by a military dictatorship. In the film, the two visit a number of his former projects, which offer unique insights into the political and economic structures of former, and modern-day Brazil.

As for Passos, the filmmaker had a falling out with Alvaro when she was a teenager and left home. She has always rebelled against Alvaro, and the regime he so admired. During her entire adult life Passos has continued to fight against inequality.

The heart of the film beats strongest in the simple scenes of intense, often antagonistic, conversations between father and daughter in their family living room. Each party, forced to confront a point of view they have avoided for years, grows a degree of new understanding towards the other.

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