Marcos Jorge’s O Duelo is based on Home Is the Sailor and will have the most VFX shots of any film in the history of Brazilian cinema.

O Duelo

The work of Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado inspired one of the most ambitious films presented this year at the RioMarket (Sept 24 - Oct 8), the industry side of the Rio International Film Festival.

Currently in post-production, Marcos Jorge’s O Duelo is based on Home Is the Sailor, one of the more than 40 books written by Amado.

One of the most internationally celebrated Brazilian authors, Amado’s books have been published in 55 countries and translated into 49 languages. In sales, he was only surpassed by Paulo Coelho. Amado died in 2001, aged 88.

Published in 1961, Home Is The Sailor chronicles the arrival of an alleged Master Mariner in a small port city. Vasco Moscoso Aragão loves to tell larger than life stories of the sea, which always involving exotic locations and sexy women. The only person who is not impressed with the commander’s adventures is Chico Pacheco, who decides to investigate his past, hoping to unmask Vasco.

“Because we translate into images the commander’s outlandish stories, this is the Brazilian film that has the most special effects shots in history,’’ said producer Walkiria Barbosa, from Total Entertainment.

Budget at $7m, O Duelo could not have been made in Brazil years ago, according to Barbosa. “We started having companies and professionals specialized in visual effects more recently.’’

Although the film is not yet completed, Walkiria is organizing screenings of O Duelo for buyers and representatives of international festivals during RioMarket. She believes in the film’s international potential - besides Latin America, where the movie will be distributed by Warner.

“To give market professionals an idea about the film, I am describing it as a cross between Big Fish, Sherlock Holmes and Life of Pi,’’ said Barbosa.

With an eye on the international market, Walkiria chose Portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida (Desperado, Fast Five) to play the lead, Vasco.

Chico is portrayed by the late Jose Wilker, a Brazilian actor who starred in more than 100 films before his death in April.

It marks the third fiction feature by Jorge, best known for Estomago: A Gastronomic Story.

Besides O Duelo, four films by Jose Padilha (Elite Squad, RoboCop) are among the hot titles available at the RioMarket. Killer Joker (in production) is a fiction film about a serial killer from São Paulo who dresses as a clown and chose victims somehow connected with pedophilia.

Lilith The Vampire (in production) is also a fiction production which follows the battle between vampires and the descendants of the Knights of the Order of the Cross.

Padilha will also direct documentary 20 Cents Revolution (in production) about the events that took place in São Paulo in 2013, when protests against the increase of the public transport fare were supressed violently by the military police.

His fourth film is the documentary Somos Todos Pinheirinho (in production), about the bloody action of the military police during the invasion of Pinheirinho community, in 2012.

Marcelo Galvão directed Farewell (finalized), which is also generating buzz at the market. Here he tells the story of a 92-year-old-man who decides to spend his last night with his lover, 55 years younger than him.