TheRio International Film Festival scored an unlikely hit on Saturday with DurvalRecords (DurvalDiscos), ajet-black Brazilian comedy from a first-timer on a shoestring budget that stolethe show so far for many delegates.
Directedby TV writer and film critic Anna Muylaert, the quirky film is inauspiciouslyset in a Sao Paulo record shop, where the owner Durval wiles away his dayswaiting for customers. Events become increasingly surreal when his mother, wholives with him above the shop, hires a maid, who suddenly disappears, leavingthem looking after a five-year old girl. Watching a TV bulletin one night, theyrealize the girl has been kidnapped and the maid is part of the gang.
"Itwas easily the best Brazilian film I have seen so far at the festival,"said one sales executive. "It could sell, maybe to smaller territories. Iknow it's disrespectful to the director since the film has only just comeout, but it would be really interesting as a remake."
Thefilm made its international premiere at Montreal this year but was - andstill is - without a sales agent. Sara Silveira, who produced with MariaIonescu, aims to go to Rotterdam and Sundance with the film, which is expectedto open in Brazil in March.
Onthe international front, Heaven director Tom Tykwer is in town, while Costa-Gavrasand Roman Polanski are expected this week. Veteran US producer Robert Evans isalso attending. Evans was planning on getting married in Rio on Sugar Loaf Mountainduring the festival - but his lavish wedding plans apparently fell through whenhe failed to produce a birth certificate.
Ticketsales for the first six days of the festival hit 73,400, with the festivalpredicting record sales of at least 200,000 overall.
Industryevents have included a UIP-sponsored master-class organized by UK scriptdevelopment body The Script Factory. Among the speakers were German producerKarl Baumgartner for Mostly Martha and the UK's Richard Jobson, who directed 16Years Of Alcohol and produced Damien O'Donnell's Heartlands.