Italy, Brazil to fund film co-productions


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Brazil and Italy on Wednesday signed a preliminary agreement to create a film fund for the co-production of features and documentaries.

Brazil's state film agency, Ancine, and its Italian counterparts, Instituto Luce and Cinecitta Holding, inked the deal here at the Rio International Film Festival, which closes this evening.

Cinecitta director Francesco Carducci said the deal will be finalized in three weeks at the Rome film festival. The two countries expect to announce their first project at the end of next year.

Italy recently signed a similar agreement with Argentina and is looking to create a co-production fund with Mexico as well. Italy and Brazil are still ironing out the details. Carducci said the funding "could amount to about $300,000," which would provide partial financing for the production of three pictures.

The partnership aims to strengthen the bond between Italy and Brazil as they look to co-produce projects on a more consistent basis. Marcos Jorge's dramedy, "Estomago" (Stomach), a Brazil-Italy co-production, has been one of the most talked about films in official competition at this year's edition of the Rio festival. Marco Bechis' drama, "Birdwatchers," also a Brazil-Italy co-production, is being filmed in Brazil.