Companies give 'VIPs' royal treatment

Focus Features, 02 Filmes developing con-man drama

Focus Features International and 02 Filmes announced a co-production covering "VIPs," a con-man drama that's begun lensing in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Penned by "City of God" scribe Braulio Mantovani, the film is a fictional story loosely based on a book by Mariana Caltabiano about real-life con artist Marcelo da Rocha.

"VIPs" features an ensemble cast of international actors with Wagner Moura in the lead role. Directed by Toniko Melo, "VIPs" is being produced by 02's Fernando Meirelles and Paulo Morelli, with Bel Berlinck serving as exec producer.

Universal Pictures International will release the film in Brazil in 2010.

" 'VIPs' is a fascinating film about much more than just a con man's life," Meirelles said. "This is the story of somebody trying to discover who he is. There is a bit of Marcelo in all of us, as we always act differently depending on the situation we are in."