By Wladimir Weltman, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Current buzz says it is cool to shoot in Rio. According to ANCINE, the Brazilian Government National Film Agency created to protect, promote and regulate the national film and video industry – 45 foreign production teams were cleared to shoot all over town since January 2010.
But before foreign production companies decide to join this adventurous group of filmmakers, they should be aware of the challenges in the process.
There’s no doubt that Rio is a wonderful location, but there is some bureaucratic procedures foreigner producers have to face in order to shoot in Brazil. It is wise first to calculate if the effort is cost effective.
Gaby Atherton, a Brazilian/American producer working at Studios Brazil, a production company based in Rio, told us about her experience in working with foreign crews. She produced “Marisa Tomei’s Hidden Markets” Rio’s episode, for Travel Channel and David Emanuel’s “Shop the World” in Rio:
“The shooting itself was easy. Challenging was bringing the crew and equipment to Brazil,” Atherton said. “First the Americans had to become partners with our company, which is registered with ANCINE for the purpose of making films and TV programs. ANCINE would only deal with them through our company.”
Steve Solot is an American that lived in Rio for the last 25 years. For most of this time he represented the MPAA in Brazil, but now he is the President of the Rio Film Commission, an institution associated to Rio de Janeiro’s State Cultural Department.
Solot is also the President of the Latin American Training Center – LATC, an audiovisual Latin American educational institution. Steve disagrees with Atherton’s negative opinion about the process. According to him, foreign producers working in Brazil will have a good experience:
“Only the Best! It is not difficult to obtain visas for the crew. In the Rio Film Commission, we can often facilitate this process. But the procedure is simple: the local producer (a Brazilian partner) must file a petition with the Brazilian Consulate in the jurisdiction of the crew member.”
Regarding the taxes film and TV crews will have to pay, Solot guarantees they are not special ones: “Only the normal visa fee. And no visas are required for crews coming from the UK,” he says.
But it seems there are greater obstacles when it comes to authorize the entrance of equipment into the country. Atherton said it was so complicated she preferred to hire a third company:
“Another producer gave me the name of this people specialized in bringing big rock bands to play in Brazil. They know everything and everybody at the Federal Police Department, the people in charge. When it comes to equipment, you are not dealing with ANCINE anymore, but with the Customs Department at the airports. Brazilian Customs Officers work for the Brazilian Department of Treasury. You don’t want to mess with these guys…”
In Atherton’s case there was a budget for the whole shooting and a separate budget just for Custom and Visa clearances. Something that increased the total cost of shooting in Rio.
The last part of the procedures has to deal with the Union’s demands; something that ANCINE also oversees (not the Union). These demands include:
a) Copies of work contracts of the Brazilian crew involved.
b) In case the Brazilian partner company will involve its own employees, and they are registered as “Film Technicians”, this registration and presentation of the work card may replace the work contract.
c) The number of Brazilian technicians to be hired for the production: for every 3 foreign technicians, one Brazilian technician must be hired in Brazil. The Brazilian company partner/owner is also considered as a Brazilian technician hired.
Looking for a deeper view of what to expect when shooting in Rio, Please see:
– ANCINE website: www.ancine.gov.br under the section: “Instruções Normativas da Ancine”.
– Rio Film Commission – Secretaria de Cultura Governo do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – Rua México, 125/13, Rio de Janeiro, RJ – Brasil, 20031-145 – website: www.riofilmcommission.rj.gov.br
– The Latin American Training Center – LATC (Centro Latinoamericano de Treinamento e Assessoria Audiovisual)Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Phone: (55-21)2247-4505 – website: www.latamtrainingcenter.com
Gaby Atherton’s ‘Studios Brazil’ contacts are: Rua Guilhermina Guinle 41/202 – Botafogo – Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22270-060, Brazil – Phone: (55-21)9268-2303 – website: www.studiosbrazil.com.br
Eleven most recently authorized foreign shootings in Rio by ANCINE:
|project||dates||kind||Brazilian company||Foreign Company||product||country|
|1||02/03 – 02/13||advertising||Utopia Filmes ProduçãoArtística Ltda||Cherub Pictures Pty Ltd.||Moccona Candles||Australia|
|2||01/13 -02/01||advertising||JKR Produções ArtísticasLtda||RJ H2O Films||Carnival||USA|
|3||01/22 – 02/06||advertising||Limite Produções Ltda.||Plastic Pictures Ltd.||Omo have a go||UK|
|4||02/09 – 02/17||documentary||Rio de CinemaProduções Culturais||Red Line Films||Dhani tackles the globe||USA|
|5||02/10 – 03/26||advertising||Zohar Cinema eComunicação Ltda||Gorgeous Enterprises||Kite||UK|
|6||02/03 – 02/13||music video||Conspiração Filmes S/A||Black Dog Films||Alicia Keys & Beyonce”Put in a love song”||USA|
|7||03/08 – 03/18||advertising||Ocean Produção deFilmes Ltda||Stink||Moving walls||UK|
|8||02/11- 02/24||documentary||Primitivo Produção deVídeo e Filmes Ltda||National GeographicSociety||Nat Geo´s most amazingphotos||USA|
|9||03/01 – 03/05||documentary||Aura Filme ProduçõesLtda||SF Schweizer Fernsehen||Nöldi Forrer in Rio deJaneiro||Switzerland|
|10||03/12 – 03/22||advertising||Ocean Produção deFilmes Ltda||SC Biscuit Filmworks||Big Mac world chant||USA|
|11||03/10 – 03/30||documentary||Blue EyeEmpreendimentos e
|National Geographic Television||One wild nigths||USA|