Two fledgling companies from Brazil and Mexico have signed a co-development and production accord. Brazil's Total Filmes and Mexico's Titan Prods will co-produce a series of feature films, starting with a comedy. Details of the first project are still sketchy but according to Titan producer/founder Matthias Ehrenberg and Total's co founder Iafa Britz, principal photography will begin late 2002.

"There are great similarities between our companies, we're young, enterprising and have the same tastes and objectives," said Titan's Ehrenberg. "We hope to break down the barriers between our countries," said Total's Britz.

In addition, both companies have ties to 20th Century Fox in their respective countries. Total Filmes, founded in 1998, has a three picture distribution deal with Fox which includes Mara Mourao's Avassaladores, Luis Carlos Lacerda's Viva Zapato! and Ricardo Bravo's Insensatez, all three are in various stages of production.

Fox released Titan's first feature, the highest grossing Mexican film to date, Sex, Shame and Tears ($12.4m), and will also distribute Titan's next film Vivir Mata in January 2002.

Both companies also have separate co-production deals with Spanish production companies. Titan's third feature, La Hija Del Canibal, is a co-production with Spain's Lola Films along with Mexican Sex, Shame co-producer Argos Cine. Shooting is scheduled to kick off mid January next year.

Total Filmes co-produced romantic comedy. The Girl From Rio with Lola Films last year. In addition, Total is co producing Viva Zapato! with Spain's Euroficcion.

Shooting is currently underway in Rio for another Total co-production, this time with Italy's Gam Film and Hungary's Focus Film. The $2m Papa Alguem 5555 (working title) relates the story of Nazi war criminal Mengele while hiding out in Brazil and stars Charlton Heston, F Murray Abraham and Thomas Kretschmann (Screendaily Oct 8).