The new series premieres worldwide July 2 on Vimeo-powered platform aruanas.tv in more than 150 countries with subtitles in 11 languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Turkish and Korean.
The groundbreaking series, inspired by true events, comes at a time when eco-activists have been sounding the alarm on the nefarious environmental policies of Brazil’s new far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, dubbed the Trump of the Tropics.
“Aruanas” also centers on the plight of environmental activists in Brazil where for the past three years, the South American nation ranks number one in the number of activists killed. In 2017 alone, 57 activists were killed, of which 80% were eco-activists. Last year, the Amazon reported a deforestation spike of 14%, the worst rate in a decade.
The Globo and Maria Farinha Films co-production centers on three childhood friends played by Brazil’s first Afro-Brazilian star Tais Araujo along with co-stars Débora Falabella and Leandra Leal whose characters’ first brush with activism began at the age of 13 when they successfully fought to save a square in the city of Sao Paolo.
As adults, they set up an NGO and begin to investigate a mining company operating in the Amazon rainforest amid reports of environmental crimes and threats to an indigenous tribe in the endangered rainforest. While these women seek to uncover a web of crimes and deceit, they also have to resolve their own personal issues.
Directed by Carlos Manga Jr. and Estela Renner, the series brought Greenpeace on board as a technical advisor, and has the support of some of the most notable environmental and human rights organizations in the world, including Amnesty International, WWF, Global Witness, UN Environment, UN Women and Open Society Foundations.
Theatrical previews are slated for London on June 18, New York on June 24 and in Sao Paulo on June 27. A July screening date in Portugal remains pending.
“Aruanas” is one of several premium content series Globo has produced primarily for Globoplay as the media giant comes to terms with more of its viewers gravitating towards online entertainment.
Evidence of this shift in priorities was the number of Globo premium content shows that have debuted first on Globoplay. Among these were new comedy series aimed at young adults: “It’s a Match” (“Shippeados”) about relationships in a world complicated by social media and apps, and “First-Time Parents” (“Y De Repente, Papas”), which turns on the roller coaster experiences of new parents.
Dramatic series such as “Iron Island” and “Harassment” will also have an exclusive debut on Globoplay before airing on open television.
That said, Brazil’s largest free-to-air TV channel estimates that it still reaches an average of 100 million viewers a day.