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Gullane Taps Match Factory, Bitters End for Karim Ainouz’s ‘Neon River’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Gullane, the Brazilian producer of Marco Bellocchio’s Cannes competition player “The Traitor,” has linked with production partners for anticipated projects by two of Brazil’s highest-profile auteurs: Karim Ainouz and Fernando Coimbra.

In further news, Luiz Bolognesi, writer-director of Annecy winner “Rio 2096,” is leading “Senna,” Gullane’s biggest movie project to date, a live-action biopic of the Formula One legend.

On “Neon River,” the English-language debut and biggest-scale movie ever of Ainouz, whose Rodrigo Teixeira-produced “Invisible Life” world premieres in Cannes Un Certain Regard this week, Gullane will co-produce with Germany’s Match Factory Prods. and Japan’s Bitters End.

A romantic action-thriller set in Tokyo’s near-future underworld, “Neon River” has been adapted by Ainouz and the U.K.’s Toby Finlay. Sergio Machado, director of Brazil’s biggest animated movie “Noah’s Ark,” which Gullane is producing with Walter Salles, is writing the latest screenplay version. Requiring extensive preparation, “Neon River,” which is Aïnouz’s next movie, is scheduled to shoot in early 2020, said producer Fabiano Gullane.

The Rio-set mobster movie “The Hanged,” from Coimbra, described by Gullane as a “tragic action thriller” loosely inspired by “Macbeth.” It will be co-produced by Luís Galvão Teles and Gonçalo Galvão Teles at Portugal’s Fado Filmes and Daniele Mazzocca, who co-produced “Birdwatchers” with Gullane. Pic stars “Westworld’s” Rodrigo Santoro and Fernanda Torres, a Cannes best actress prize winner for “Love Me Forever or Never,”

Coimbra’s feature debut, “A Wolf at the Door,” a take on the devastating revenge of a spurned lover, made him one of Brazil’s most -courted young directors, tapped to direct in the U.S. “Dand Castle” with Nicholas Hoult, plus episodes of “Narcos.”

“Senna” will be made with the collaboration of the Instituto Ayrton Senna, run by the Senna family, Gullane said. Bolognesi is leading  creativity. Gullane is currently defining partners from around the world for the project, Gullane added. The movie is being prepared to celebrate the 60th anniversary celebrations of Senna’s life.

International co-production – and Gullane is one of Brazil’ leading movie practitioners – is not just about financing, he insisted.

“For Brazilian companies like mine, when we have a more ambitious project, it’s fundamental to have co-production,” he said.

But co-production is “not just about financing or the scale of a movie. A movie grows when there’s different input on it. On ‘Neon River’ for example, having the opinions of Michael Weber at Match Factory and  and that of Yuji Sadai at Bitters End  really enriches the process.”

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