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European producers join Daniela Thomas’ The Surge

EXCLUSIVE: Project is Daniela Thomas’ [pictured] first solo work after co-directing Linha De Passe and Foreign Land with Walter Salles. Deal initiated during Producers Network meetings.

A trio of European producers has signed up for Brazilian filmmaker Daniela Thomas’ long-awaited, first solo feature The Surge, which is being lead produced by Sara Silveira of Sao Paulo-based Dezenove.

The new European partners comprise Pandora da Cunha Telles and Pablo Iraola of Portuguese Ukbar Filmes, Gudny Hummelvoll of Hummelfilm and Philippe Avril of Paris –based Unlimited.

Set against the backdrop of a 18th century Brazil when slavery was still legal, the film revolves around a young girl married to a much, older landowner and her relationships with the slaves who work on his property.

Feted Brazilian actresses Fernanda Montenegro and Sandra Corveloni are in the cast.

The €2.7m feature marks a first solo work for Thomas after a number of collaborations with Walter Salles. She was last in Cannes in 2008 with their joint film Linha de Passe.

Silveira and da Cunha Telles credit the Cannes Marché’s Producers Network initiative, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, with bringing the group together. Some 500 producers attended the six-day networking event this year.

“Sara and I first met at the Producers Network two years ago,” said da Cunha Telles. 

“This year we met at the event with all the partners involved to discuss the strategy for the European side of financing. The plan is to apply to public funds in Portugal, France and Norway as well as pull in distribution deals,” she continued.  

Some €1.7m worth of the budget is already in place. Wilson Feitosa’s Europa Films will distribute the film in Brazil while and Luis Apilinario’s Alambique filmes has acquired the picture for Portugal. 

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