The second annual Brazilian Film Market has wrapped inthe country's capital of Brasilia, with 68 features, 81 documentaries and 154shorts being presented to 23 international TV and film buyers from 11countries.
The marketran concurrently to Brazil's oldest film festival, the Brasilia Film Festival,now in its 37th year and wrapping on Tuesday.
Buyers atthe market, which include representatives from TV networks Canal Plus, theSundance Channel, Channel 4 and film distributors Empire Pictures, IFC Films,TLA releasing and IFC Films, are currently negotiating on 42 contracts,according to organisers, with a revenue potential of $1.6 million in the nexttwo years. SBS in Australia in particular is negotiating six titles.
A total of259 screenings were held over the five-day market, with particular interestbeing shown in the documentary I Am Cuba, The Siberian Mammoth, aboutthe making of Soy Cuba by Soviet maestro Mikhail Kalatosov at the heightof the cold war in the early 60s. It has been selected for the 2005 SundanceWorld Cinema competitive section.
Interestwas also shown in Brazil's two top commercial titles this year, the Oscarentrant Olga and the rock biopic Cazuza: Time Doesn't Stop, bothof which have raked in more than three million admissions this summer.
Thanks to government tax initiatives, the Brazilian filmindustry has recently undergone a radical revival, moving from a 3 percentmarket share in 1993 to 23 percent in 2002, a figure which looks good to holdfirm in 2004 with 44 local releases. It is estimated that figure will rise evenfurther to 60 in 2005.
The BrazilFilm Market screenings "represent the cream of the crop for 2005," said TarcisoVidigal, president of Grupo Novo de Cinema e TV which organised the eventalongside Brazilian Cinema Promotion, export agency APEX and the foreignaffairs ministry.
Theadministration of Brazil's leftwing president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva("Lula") has ushered in a boomtime in cinema and is currently proposing torework the film agency ANCINE into ANCINAV, covering the entire audiovisualindustry. Lula has also created this year two new "Funcine" tax funds whichwill come on line in 2005, bringing an estimated $30 million to furtherstimulate production, distribution and exhibition.
Tax breakshave also been offered in the last few months to the exhibition industry,aiming to boost Brazil's low 1700 screens (per 170 million people) to atargeted 4,000 in the next five years.
Lula'spresence was also very much in evidence at the Brasilia Film Festival, wheresix features are competing for the Candango prize. Documentary Metalworkers (Peoes), by Eduardo Countinho,revisited 21 metalworkers who had fought for the establishment of Lula's union,and eventually the labour party, back in 1979, many losing their jobs, whileanother documentary Entreato, by Joao Moreira Salles (the brother ofWalter), closes the festival out of competition with a look at the last 30 daysof Lula's election campaign in 2002.
Thefestival also screened a restored copy of Glauber Rocha's 1967 Cinema Novamasterpiece, Earth Entranced (Terra Em Trance).