20th Century Fox Film Brazil has closed an unprecedented package deal with local production company Total Filmes.

According to the terms of the agreement, Fox will distribute three feature films produced by Total over a three year period, starting in 2001. Fox will exploit the fiscal advantages provided by Brazil's audiovisual law which guarantees foreign investors deductions of up to 70% from federal taxes.

Fox follows in the footsteps of Columbia TriStar Brazil which has distributed a number of local films in the past years. Columbia TriStar recently backed Andrucha Waddington's Me You Them (Eu Tu Eles), Brazil's 2001 foreign Oscar entry.

Last year, Warner Bros picked up worldwide distribution rights to Carlos Diegues' Orfeu and Ricardo Bravo's Oriundi. Fox recently tested the waters with its first Brazilian pick-up: Possible Loves by Sandra Werneck whose next picture is among the three feature films in the package agreement.

"Now that Fox has decided to participate in the local film production market, we are pleased to be collaborating with a highly promising and energetic company" said Marcos Oliveira, general manager of Fox Film Brazil. "This partnership is the result of a common strategy and philosophy shared by both companies," said Total Filmes' co-director Walkiria Barbosa

The alliance kicks off with Mara Mouraos' Overwhelming Women (Avassaladoras) which is slated to start principal photography in March. It will be followed by the long gestating Viva Zapato!, a co production between Spain, Brazil and Argentina; and Werneck's Open Windows (Janelas Abiertas). Avassaladoras is a romantic comedy about a 30-something designer who resorts to an online marriage agency to find her true love. Luiz Carlos Lacerda's Viva Zapato! tells the story of a Cuban couple who, believing that money is the solution to all their problems, set out to find a pair of shoes allegedly containing $5000. Werneck' Open Windows tells the tale of a successful novelist suffering from writer's block. While seeking solace in her assistant's apartment, she inadvertently becomes a peeping tom.