Netflix Celebrates Five Years of Brazilian Production, Unveils Upcoming Slate in More Brazil on Screen Presentation

Daniela Vieira, Hana Vaisman, Elisabetta Zenatti, Naruna Costa, Elisa Chalfon and Adrien Muselet
Daniela Vieira, Hana Vaisman, Elisabetta Zenatti, Naruna Costa, Elisa Chalfon and Adrien Muselet. Credit: Fernanda Tine / Netflix

From the company’s offices in Sao Paulo, Netflix hosted More Brazil on Screen on Tuesday morning, a digital celebration of the company’s 10 years in the country and five years since its first Brazilian original production, “3%,” as well as a platform to reinforce its commitment to the local entertainment industry and preview some of its most exciting upcoming productions.

New Netflix originals in Brazil will take in what looks like one its biggest bets to date, sci-fi action movie “Biônicos,” created by Brazil’s Afonso Poyart, director of Anthony Hopkins thriller “Solace,” the U.S. streaming giant announced on Tuesday during the live-streamed presentation.

Netflix also used More Brazil on Screen to release targeted details of audience reaction to Brazilian content. Produced by Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) and starring Rodrigo Santoro (“300”), “7 Prisoners,” a social issue thriller, ranked No. 2 in Netflix’s Top 10 Global List for Non-English Films in its first week, Netflix announced just after the presentation.

“While we saw the conversations and the impact that stories have on the world, we wanted to dig deeper to understand how stories bring people closer to a country like Brazil,” said Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings in a pre-recorded video streamed during Tuesday’s presentation.

He went on to explain that: “Through research we conducted earlier this year across seven different countries, we learned members around the world are almost twice as likely to have seen Brazilian content than people who don’t watch Netflix. Globally, those who watch Brazilian content on Netflix are 3 times more likely to say the country is the first on their list of travel destinations, or that they have an interest in learning Portuguese. They’re also more than 2 times more likely to have an interest in getting to know more Brazilians. And there is so much more to discover and fall in love with. So many more diverse Brazilian stories to be told.”

In further production unveils, Netflix announced that it will produce “Todo Dia a Mesma Noite,” a limited series drama from Morena Films, head writer Gustavo Lipsztein and director Julia Rezende about the true story of the 2013 fire at Brazil’s Boate Kiss nightclub which left 242 dead.

The U.S. streaming giant also confirmed “Iron Chef Brazil,” a new version of the international hit format, as well as new season renewals for outer-radius slums set drama “Sintonia” and “Love is Blind Brazil” and “Too Hot to Handle Brazil,” as foreign format imports catch fire in Brazil.

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“Love is Blind Brazil” Credir: Alisson Louback

In January 2021, Netflix was reported to have already run up 19 million household accounts in Brazil, nearly as many as the streamer’s 25.49 million for the whole of Asia. Many consumers now regard the streamers as a general entertainment service, Elisabetta Zenatti, Netflix VP of Brazilian content noted in an interview with Variety prior to the presentation.

In part response, Netflix is diversifying fast in genre and formats. Created by Poyart, “Bionicos” weighs in as Netflix Brazil’s first action sci-fi film. Also announced at the presentation, “The Nutty Boy” and “Wake Up, Carlo” rep its earliest kids & family originals.

“Nutty Boy” adapts a comic book and comic strip series created by Netflix which now wants to move into young live action fiction, said Daniela Vieira, Netflix Brazil head of kids & family.

In original film production, Netflix is looking to “broaden its horizons, producing genres which are not so traditional in Brazil,” said Adrien Muselet, Netflix Brazil head of film.

One of More Brazil on Screen’s biggest talking points was the need to decentralize production from Brazil’s traditional production hubs of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. “Brazilians want more stories told by different voices that reflect their lives, their roots and ancestry…to find characters and plots with which to identify and to see the diversity of Brazil on screen,” said Zenatti.

Another, the attraction of local productions. The more local, the larger chance that it will travel, the consensus ran.

“The tip for anyone producing with Netflix is to be open, to listen. A recommendation [I received]…was don’t try to create a project for the international market, the more local it is, the more the chances of it traveling. That’s the beauty of how Netflix produces: it’s a place of content from the world to the world,” Meirelles said at More Brazil on Screen.

One means to spread the talent net wider is the company’s Colaboratório Criativo talent development program, a collaboration with AFAR Ventures and WIP, funded by Netflix, now heading into its second year.