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You are in: Home > 2010. 58th Edition  > Festival Diary > Rio Commish gains profile
Festival Diary » THE INDUSTRY CLUB
Rio Commish gains profile
Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The Rio Film Commission is in conversations with Gravier, Woody Allen’s production house, for Allen to shoot in Rio. “Assuming all goes to plan,” the shoot will roll in 2012, said Steve Solot, RFC CEO.

Rio will also host the world premiere of toon feature of U.S. 3D toon tentpole Rio.

Produced by Blue Sky Studios, and set for an April 2011 release by Twentieth Century Fox,Rio is directed by the Brazilborn Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs).

As an international co-production, Brad Anderson’s Non Stop to Brazil requires approval by state agency Ancine. But RFC is “very interested” in supporting the project, Solot said.

Allen, Andrson and Saldanha are among potential first catches for a regenerated RFC which, in its first yesr of existence, has rapidly built profile.

Remarkably, however photogenic, in the past Rio has not been markedly successful in attracting foreign shoots. That is now changing.

In October 2009, the Rio state teamed with state film investment agency RioFilme to launch a new Rio Film Commission, uniting the old and largely inactive state and city entities.

And it tapped former MPA Latin America v.p. Solot, an exec with a large knowledge and passion for the region, as its first CEO.

One year later, the consolidated Rio de Janeiro City and State Film Commission will celebrate is first anniverary with an Industry Club Happy Hour cocktail Tuesday in San Sebastian.

The RFC handles a $1.7 million annual incentive, to invest in high-profile shoots. That money pales before other international rebate systems: Think Germany’s DFFF funding.

But RFC is part of a multi-faceted city and state program, Rio Audiovisual, which wields a $10.5 million fund, Funcine, for film-TV production, distribution, theatre construction and refurbishing.

And, Solot said, Rio is building in infrastructure.

The Rio State Government Decree, which provides ICMS turnover tax exemption, is attracting facilities cos such as Porto Alegre’s Naymar Audiovisual Infrastructure, which will open a large complex in the Sao Cristovao industrial district of Rio.

A “very large” audiovisual high-tec complex is on the drawing boards for the Rio docks area, Solot added.

The complex will offer tax benefits over a 10-year-period to encourage the installation of private-sector companies.

State film investment agency RioFilme is also seeking to invest in international co-productions involving Riobased producers and shoots in Rio.

RioFilme will invest a total $50 million through 2010 in the film and TV industry in Rio, Solot said. Its financing can cut several ways. On the $5 million Dirty Hearts, a 1945-set drama about the Japanese colony in Brazil, RioFilme will co-produce with Brazilian production house Mixer, putting down both equity and a 15%-of-budget bridge loan.

In one year, says, the RFC has achieved “regional leadership.”

History is on its side too. Rio hosts the 2014 FIFAWorld Cup soccer tourne and the 2016 Olympic Games.That offers the RFC the chance to show its chops providing logistic support and permits to the around 20,000 film crew members and journos expected in Rio for the events.Also, the Brazilian government aims to wean Brazil from an over-dependence on commodities.

Advanced service sectors such as film are anattractive alternative. Solot says an increase in international shoot incentives is possible. Certainly, in the future, Brazilian film aid looks likely to go up rather than down.

John HOPEWELL

 

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