Brazil’s Carlos (Cacá) Diegues, whose poem-inspired drama “The Great Mystical Circus” vies for a foreign-language Oscar next year, is in pre-production on “The Dame” starring Betty Faria (“Bye Bye Brazil”) and his daughter Flora Diegues, who stars in “…Mystical Circus.”
Diegues and Faria are both in Miami for the 22nd Brazilian Film Festival of Miami (BRAFF) (Sept. 14-23), which is paying tribute to Diegues.
The director describes “The Dame,” which he has been writing and developing for nearly three years, as a political thriller about a group of individuals who were once involved in the armed struggle against Brazil’s dictatorship in the 1970s. One day, they receive a mysterious invitation to celebrate New Years’ Eve at one of the grand mansions on the island of Paqueta, situated in the far west of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro. Faria plays the lady of the house.
Filming on Paqueta island is slated for early next year when Faria’s work at a Globo TV series ends. “I wrote this story with only Betty in mind; once she said yes, I started finalizing my work on it,” said Diegues. “Some of them I actually knew, some I heard of and others I invented,” said Diegues of his characters.
“I’m very happy; it’s the best role he’s ever written for me,” said Faria.
Renata Magalhaes, Diegues’ partner in shingle Luz Magica and producer of “The Great Mystical Circus,” will also produce “The Dame,” budgeted at $1.5 million. Globo Filmes is a major backer.
Diegues is best known as one of the founders of Brazil’s Cinema Novo, along with Glauber Rocha and Nelson Pereira Dos Santos. His career, spanning more than five decades, has produced such gems as “Orpheu,” “God is Brazilian,” and “Bye Bye Brazil,” all of which have screened during BRAFF as part of its salute to him.