Rio de Janeiro Expands Studio Capability Prior to World Cup, Olympics

Rio de Janeiro City Landscape - H 2013
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro City Landscape - H 2013

The city aims to concentrate more than half the country’s independent studio area in a new "Audiovisual City."

RIO DE JANEIRO -- As Rio de Janeiro gears up for hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the city’s government is trying to increase the audiovisual industry’s ability to keep pace with ongoing urban and transport renovations in the Brazilian city.

The construction of a new Audiovisual City in the neighborhood of Sao Cristovao will add to the already announced expansion of the Film and Video Pole in Barra. Together, these two facilities will boost the city as an audiovisual production nod: Once they’re operational, Rio will go from concentrating 29 percent of the country’s total studio area for independent production to more than 50 percent, the city’s Secretary of Culture and RioFilme CEO Sergio Sa Leitao told O Globo on Sunday.

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The expansion works for the 3,500-square-meter Film and Video Pole in Barra are projected to double the number of studios from 8 to 16. The public tender for the construction will be open before the end of this month.

"The idea is that the Pole focuses on film and commercials, and the Audiovisual City will be designed to host more TV productions," said Sa Leitao. "With the World Cup and the Olympics, there will be an increase in the demand of audiovisual studios and staff in the city. We’re already establishing partnerships for professional training, and we will invest in infrastructure."

According to RioFilme, the bid for building the Audiovisual City will be launched before the end of the year. The number of projected studios hasn’t been reported yet, but they will stand in what today is the 14,000-square-meter Sao Cristovao precinct of the City Police. The site will serve as the home of RioFilme and the Rio Film Commission. The plan also includes four film theaters, with a total investment of $11.2 million.

“We’re going through a growing phase in the film and TV markets, and this is a favorable context for the expansion of the studios,” said Sa Leitao.