RT Features has pulled off quite a feat. The producer of “Call Me By Your Name” and “The Witch” has three films debuting in Cannes Film Festival’s official selection, a nearly unheard-of accomplishment.
“It’s a dream,” said Rodrigo Teixeira, the production company’s founder. “We shot three films last year and all three films are premiering in Cannes.”
The movies in question include Danielle Lessovitz’s “Port Authority,” a story of sexual identity set in New York’s “ballroom” scene; Karim Aïnouz’s “The Invisible Life Of Eurídice Gusmão,” a drama about two sisters that spans three decades; and Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse,” a black-and-white horror film starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.
That’s not the only way that Teixeira made a splash at this year’s festival. He also announced plans to make James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” a coming-of-age drama that will feature Donald and Fred Trump as characters. Gray and Teixeira are wrapping up work on a film that may be the biggest project yet for RT Features, “Ad Astra,” a science-fiction story with Brad Pitt as a solar-system traveling engineer. The film is a departure for Gray who tends to tell stories such as “We Own the Night” and “The Immigrant” that are grounded in reality.
“James found his space in the genre,” said Teixeira. “His space is more in the Kubrick world than the George Lucas world. I think he made something great.”
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Founded in 2005 and based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, RT Features has carved out a niche by making or financing movies such as Ira Sachs’ “Love is Strange” or Noah Baumbach’s “Mistress America” that hail from top auteurs and have a bespoke quality. They aren’t the kind of movies that are being made by major studios, which prefer to finance superhero flicks. But though they span a range of genres, from hilarious comedies to slices of social realism, Teixeira thinks they have a connective tissue.
“It’s a difficult time,” he said. “Films need to talk about some political aspect or social aspect. If you don’t have that the film is going to lose importance and it won’t stand out from the blockbusters.”
At Cannes, Teixeira’s calendar is filled with premieres and meetings, but not even the glitziest red carpet or splashiest party could pull him away from the “Game of Thrones” finale next Sunday. He got a French friend to buy a French iPad and set him up with an account so he can find out what goes down in Westeros.
“I’m not going to miss it,” said Teixeira. “If I read spoilers, I’d go crazy.”