O2 Play Boards ‘Broken,’ Fernando Haddad Portrait From Cesar Charlone

O2 Play, the distribution-sales arm of Brazil’s O2 Filmes group, co-owned by “City of God” director Fernando Meirelles, has boarded “Broken” (“Partido”), which is co-directed by Oscar-nominated “City of God” DP César Charlone.

O2 Play has acquired Brazilian and world sales rights to the doc feature. O2 Play founder Igor Kupstas will introduce “Broken” to buyers at Locarno Pro, which runs Aug.3-9.

Charlone, also “The Two Popes” DP and director of “3%,” South America’s first Netflix series, has directed alongside Sebastián Bednarik (“Maracaná,” “Sangre de Campeones”) and Joaquim Castro (“Máquina do Desejo – 60 Anos do Teatro Oficina”).

Produced by Uruguay’s Coral Cine, in co-production with Brazil’s OPY Filmes, “Broken” covers Brazil’s 2018 general election from the point of view of Fernando Haddad, currently Brazil’s minister of economy and then the candidate of Brazil’s now ruling Workers’ Party put up to face off with Jair Bolsonaro.

“Broken” will have its world premiere as the closing film at Doc Montevideo on July 28.

“When Charlone came with this story, the first I thought of was John Ford’s famous saying that cinema is a man in trouble. In the period where we follow him (2018), Haddad is a man in trouble, and that’s the film,” director-producer Bednarik, a Coral Cine co-founder, told Variety.

He added: “The question would be: Can a person do anything against a tragedy foretold (as were Brazil’s 2018 elections)? By the time the film’s finished, the question has changed from how did Bolsonaro get to power to the day-after questions of: And what now? How do we get out of this?” 

Charlone took charge of directing the film’s shoot. Bednarik and Castro boarded as co-directors for the three-year editing process, with Charlone focusing on visuals, Castro on editing and Bednarik on structure and dramaturgy, Bednarik told Variety.

The presence at Locarno of Kupstas, who launched O2 Play in 2013, is not coincidental. Part of O2 Filmes, owned by Paulo Morelli, Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Meirelles, one of Brazil’s biggest and most respected of film and TV production forces, O2 Play is now an established player on Brazil’s distribution scene. It has released over 80 films in cinema theaters in Brazil, while licensing international on some titles to OTT players around the world. 

Over the last decade, Kupstas has attended Berlin, SXSW, Cannes and IDFA. “For the last year or so, we became more interested in expanding, both for international sales and acquisitions,” Kupstas told Variety.

Brazil’s dramatic foreseeable rebound as Latin America’s production powerhouse – with Brazilian President’s Lula Inácio Lula da Silva’s new government looking set to plow just under $1 billion in 2023 into the country’s audiovisual sector –  will do nothing to dampen O2 Play’s ambitions.


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