Columbia TriStar Brazil is lining up a 55-print release from September 15 for The Dog's Will (Auto Da Compadecida), a feature film derived from the Brazilian mini-series of the same name broadcast by Rede Globo last year.

Although made-for-TV, the mini-series' producers - Rede Globo's film arm, Globo Films - considered the possibility of a theatrical spin-off from its inception. The project was filmed on 35mm and additional scenes were shot at the same time as the mini-series for inclusion in a film version. Following the broadcast version's high ratings, the project was re-edited for theatrical release. Columbia TriStar acquired both domestic and international rights.

"We added film elements to a made-for-TV product and achieved something that is suitable for both theatres and TV audiences," explained director Guel Arraes.

Globo Films artistic director Daniel Filho said: "This is the reverse of what we first intended - to make TV spin-offs from our films. But this is one way for Brazilian cinema to benefit from collaboration between film and TV."

The Dog's Will is a comedia dell'arte style film about two poor country dwellers who survive by making people believe their fantastic stories based on popular legends and myths. The cast includes Mateus Nachtergale, Selton Melo and Fernanda Montenegro (Central Station) in the role of Holy Mother.

Columbia TriStar, which is currently having domestic success with Brazilian title Me You Them, is investing $275,000 (Real500,000) in The Dog's Will's Brazilian release.