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Outsider Pictures Takes U.S. on ‘Divine Love’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Dira Paes and Julio Machado appear
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures has acquired North American rights excluding Quebec to “Divine Love,” Brazilian Gabriel Mascaro’s Sundance hit which paints a prescient picture of a near-future faith dominated Brazil.

Outsider is planning a Spring 2020 release for the film. Set in a supposedly near-future brazil, the relevance of the film was felt with force just a few weeks ago when far-right President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he wanted Brazil’s Ancine state film-TV agency to be headed by someone who is “terribly Evangelical.”

Suggesting a major talent in the making, Mascaro’s follow-up to his Venice winner “Neon Bull” world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Guy Lodge predicted “The film’s blend of on-the-button politics and seductive aesthetics should make it hot festival property,” in his Variety review.

Set in 2027, the film follows Joana (Dira Paes), a bureaucrat who uses her job as a notary to try to convince divorcing couples to stay together. In her private life, Joana is committed to getting pregnant. The film is set against a futuristic world of faith dance parties, ritualistic orgies and fundamentalist Christianity, a heady mix.

A Desvia production in Brazil, “Divine Love” is co-produced by Malbicho Cine (Uruguay), Snowglobe (Denmark), Jirafa (Chile), Bord Cadre Films (Switzerland), Mer Films (Norway), Film i Väst (Sweden) and Globo Filmes and Canal Brasil in Brazil.

“Mascaro is a unique new voice in world cinema, and he has crafted something original and thought-provoking especially given the parallels between Brazil and the U.S. politically right now,” said Hudson.

In a joint statement, producers Rachel Daisy Ellis and Sandino Saravia Vinay said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Outsider Pictures which is an important distributor of Latin American films in the America market.

They added: “And we are excited to have the opportunity to show the film to a wider American audience following the amazing premiere in Sundance this year.”