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Inaugural Rio2C Takes Cue from SXSW

Enlarged market underscores Brazilian entertainment sector resilience, organizers argue

RIO DE JANEIRO — The first edition of Rio Creative Conference (Rio2C), an event originated from Rio Content Market, opened Tuesday April 3, gathering top local execs and talents in TV and film production, music and games industries through Sunday April 8.

Focused on industry members, the Rio Content Market went through seven editions, consolidating as the largest TV content market in Latin America. Rio2C has incorporated music and games and opened up to the public.

The event’s format is based on SXSW in Austin, Texas and the Web Summit in Lisbon, said Rio2C creator and CEO Rafael Lazarini.

Organizers stressed that the decision to upgrade the event, while Brazil and especially Rio de Janeiro face economic and political crisis, underscores the resilience of the local entertainment sector. More specifically, Brazil’s TV and film production industries have continued to grow during the three past years of recession.

“The growth of content production and consumption in Latin America is one of the largest in the world. Rio2C is where the top players of the entertainment industry can meet, do business and learn about what is new. It is the one-stop shop of Latin America’s creative industry,” said Lazarini, who is also senior VP, heading up business development, at U.S. company Live Nation.

“Additionally, like SXSW and Web Summit, we want to become a motor of market change,” he added.

The soft opening on Tuesday featured conferences about branding and content hosted by local trade media and advertising magazine Meio & Mensagem.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are dedicated to an expanded version of Rio Content Market’s program, analyzing issues in the music and games industries. The focus is on innovation and technology. About 5,000 people paid to attend Rio2C, up from 3,500 for last year’s Rio Content Market. Over 300 players will participate on this year’s event.

“We know the Brazilian market is large and vibrant. We are excited with the possibility of entering this market and are here to get to know local projects,” said Mark Miller, CEO of Thunderbird Entertainment, of Canada.

But this year’s highlight is general public participation over Saturday and Sunday. Organizers said their decision to open up the event is a response to continuous complaints of fans unable to attend keynotes from series and show creators and other talents at Rio Content Market.

Rio2C will screen 80 virtual reality productions, have an arena for live games’ competitions commented by experts, and premiere TV series episodes, feature films and docs.

The weekend music fest looks to be proving particularly popular. It will count with shows from 30 local attractions, such as rapper Emicida, Karol Conka, Tulipa Ruiz and band Carne Doce.

Organizers expect a turnout of about 20,000 people at the weekend, which led them to move the expanded new event to Cidade das Artes. The large, modern complex, designed by French architecture Christian Portzamparc, includes a 1,250-seat theater, and a 450-seat room for chamber music, and an art gallery.

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