Netflix Unveils Trailer for the Rodrigo Santoro-Starring Thriller “7 Prisoners”

Rodrigo Santoro is ready to thrill

Netflix has released the official trailer for 7 Prisoners, a Brazilian thriller starring the 46-year-old Brazilian actor.

Rodrigo Santoro

The film, produced by Oscar nominees Ramin Bahrani and Fernando Meirelles, is set to open in select theaters and debut globally on the streamer in November, and may well be put forward for the Academy Award competition for Best International Feature Film.

The second feature from Alexandre Moratto centers on 18-year-old Mateus (Christian Malheiros), who hopes to find a way to provide a better life for his working-class family in the countryside. Accepting a new job in São Paolo, he is shuttled into the city with a handful of other teenage boys from his town, unaware of what awaits them: exhausting work in a scrapyard and the seizure of their identity cards by a vicious taskmaster and exploiter, Luca (Santoro), who threatens them with the unthinkable if they try to escape. But, as Mateus learns, even the boss has a boss. And if he wants to find a way out, what will he have to become?

Moratto wrote the script for 7 Prisoners with Thayná Mantesso. Bruno Rocha, Vitor Julian, Lucas Oranmian, Cecília Homem de Mello, and Dirce Thomaz also star.

The film premiered in the Horizons Extra section of the 78th Venice Film Festival on September 6, subsequently going on to make its North American premiere in Toronto.

Fernando Meirelles Launching Slate of Environmental Films with UK Production Firm ‘Make Waves’

Fernando Meirelles is shining a spotlight on the environment…

The 65-year-old Brazilian Oscar-nominated film director, producer and screenwriter, best known for hit films The Two PopesThe Constant Gardener and City Of God, is launching a slate of environmental films in association with UK production firm Make Waves.

Fernando Meirelles

Four of the projects on the $20M documentary slate have already attracted talent and funding.

Meirelles himself will direct Soil, a feature-length documentary about the little-known microscopic world beneath our feet, which will reveal the revolutionary solutions that could help avert a planetary food crisis.

The “flagship” film on the slate is Blue Carbon, which will be directed by BAFTA and Emmy-winning filmmaker Nicolas Brown (Serengeti Rules). With 2021 Grammy-nominated DJ Jayda G as its protagonist, the feature will spotlight a movement to grow an ocean forest across the planet to help combat climate change. The film will weave together stories of ocean activists, scientists and frontline communities, and will feature music from Brazilian samba artist Seu Jorge (The Life Aquatic). The film’s development is being funded by HHMI/Tangled Bank Studios (The Serengeti Rules).

The Shackleton Solution will look at what iconic explorer Ernest Shackleton can teach the world about how to save a continent facing a catastrophe. It will draw parallels between Shackleton’s epic Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917) and a planet on the cusp of imminent environmental emergency.

Also on the slate is Law Of The Land from filmmaker Coral Brown, which asks the fundamental question: what if nature, like corporations, had the same legal rights as you and me? The feature doc will follow grassroots lawyers and Indigenous communities as they take the battle for the Rights of Nature movement into the courtrooms and onto the streets.

The slate has been co-created by Meirelles, former UN environment diplomat/producer Alexander and Irish author Don Mullan, and BAFTA-winning producer Sarah Macdonald and former Director of BBC World News Sian Kevill, all of whom will serve as EPs on the slate. Two additional films are due to be added to the lineup later in 2021.

Meirelles, a passionate environmentalist, most recently teamed up with Make Waves, Asen and Mullan on green documentary The Great Green Wall, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival two years ago.

“There is nothing more urgent than the climate crisis,” says Meirelles. “Information is what can turn the tide. Our goal is to make films that not only inform, but that enchant and engage. For my grandchildren and the grandchildren of others, that will be the theme of my work until the day I die.”

Former BBC journalist Macdonald heads investigations and documentary specialist Make Waves with former BBC journalist and executive Kevill.

Antonio Banderas Earns AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Nomination for Best Actor

Antonio Banderas is gettin’ a little glory from mature audiences…

The AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, has announced the nominations for its 19th annual Movies for Grownups Awards, with the 59-year-old Spanish actor earning a nod.

Antonio Banderas

Banderas is nominated for Best Actorfor his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s acclaimed Spanish-language film, Pain and Glory.

But Banderas isn’t the only Latino nominee…

Jennifer Lopez has earned a nod this year for Best Supporting Actress.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar, who earned a Spirit Awards nod earlier this month, received the nomination for her performance in Hustlers

Fernando Meirellesis being called out…

The 64-year-old Brazilian filmmaker is nominated for Best Director for his celebrated work on Netflix’s The Two Popes.

Ana de Armashas earned some love from the AARP…

The 31-year-old Cuban and Spanish actress and her Knives Out cast mates are nominated in the Best Ensemble category.

Tony Danza will host the Movies for Grownups Awards ceremony on January at the Beverly Wilshirein Beverly Hills. 

Earlier this month, the group chose Annette Bening to receive AARP’s MFG’s Career Achievement Award.

Here’s a look at this year’s nominees:

Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups
The Irishman
Bombshell
Marriage Story
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The Farewell
The Two Popes
Little Women

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert, Frankie
Helen Mirren, The Good Liar
Julianne Moore, Gloria Bell
Alfre Woodard, Clemency
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Actor
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro, The Irishman
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

Best Supporting Actress
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Nicole Kidman, Bombshell
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

Best Supporting Actor
Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Director
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes
Sam Mendes, 1917
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Readers’ Choice
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Bombshell
Downton Abbey
The Irishman
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Richard Jewell
The Two Popes

Best Ensemble
Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name
Downton Abbey
Knives Out
Little Women

Best Intergenerational
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Little Women
Parasite
The Etruscan Smile
The Farewell

Best Buddy Picture
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Ford v. Ferrari
Just Mercy
The Lighthouse
The Two Popes

Best Screenwriter
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Kasi Lemmons, Harriet
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

Best Time Capsule
Harriet
Judy
Little Women
Motherless Brooklyn
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Trailer Released for Fernando Meirelles’ Climate Change Documentary “The Great Green Wall”

Fernando Meirelles is hitting a wall

The first trailer has been released for the climate change documentary The Great Green Wall, which is being executive-produced by the 63-year-old Brazilian film director, producer and screenwriter.

Fernando Meirelles

Fronted by Malian-French singer and activist Inna Modjaand backed by the United Nations, the film focuses on the ongoing Africa-led project to grow an 8,000km wall of trees and plants across the width of the continent. The initiative will stretch from Senegal to Djibouti and is meant to provide food and jobs to millions. 

The film, described as “Buena Vista Social Club meets Years of Living Dangerously, follows Modja across Africa as she assembles leading musicians and singers to record an album that captures the spirit of the Wall, which once completed will be the largest living structure on earth, three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.

The film is directed by Jared P. Scott, whose previous docs The Age of Consequences and Requiem for the American Dream debuted at HotDocsand the Tribeca Film Festival, respectively. 

Former BBC investigative journalist Sarah Macdonald, who won a BAFTA for her work at nightly news show Newsnight, produces for Make ProductionsAlexander Asen is executive producer for the UN’s Convention to Combat Desertification, which itself is a co-producer on the film.

Fernando Meirelles to Direct the Pope Francis-Themed Film “The Pope”

Fernando Meirelles is ready to take you to (Catholic) church…

The 61-year-old Brazilian filmmaker is set to direct Netflix’s feature film The Pope, starring Jonathan Pryce as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

Fernando Meirelles

Anthony Hopkins is in talks to play his predecessor Pope Benedict.

Meirelles, best known for helming City of God, will direct the film from a script

by Anthony McCarten, who wrote The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking.  McCarten adapted his stage play.

The film tells the story of Pope Benedict’s election, and his subsequent resignation from the papacy. That opened the door for Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentinian Cardinal who became the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas and the first Pope from outside Europe since the 8th Century.

The drama conveys his reluctance to take the top post in 2013. His humility and devotion to the poor has made him a galvanizing force for tolerance and change.

Filming will begin November in Argentina.

Carlos Saldanha Receives Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation Award

Carlos Saldanha is being heralded for his creative impact

The 52-year-old Brazilian director, producer and animator has been recognized with Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation award.

Carlos Saldanha

Saldanha has become one of the most successful tellers of animated stories of all time. His credits include Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Rio and Rio 2, while he co-directed Ice Age and Robots. He’s Blue Sky Animation Studio’s secret weapon, having unleashed a string of worldwide blockbusters that have grossed more than $3 billion.

Saldanha even has Oscar cred with a nomimation for 2003’s animated short Gone Nutty, and an exclusive deal at Fox, where his BottleCap Productions calls home.

Growing up in Rio de Janeiro afforded Saldanha with a unique perspective of the world, and in particular, how it would come to shape his animation and filmmaking instincts and aesthetic.

“I was always a film buff,” Saldanha recalls. “Movies were always very special to me, but I never knew how to accomplish my goals. Blade Runner is my favorite film and I’ve seen it 20 times at least. I find it inspiring. So I went to college for computer science, but I was always very artistic. A friend showed me one of John Lasseter’s early CGI-animated shorts, and I was hooked, because this was how to bridge the elements together.”

The Ice Age franchise has cemented itself as one of the most popular in the medium, and Saldanha knows that he’s crossed over into something larger, capturing the imaginations of children (and adults) around the world, especially with the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, which has become the official mascot of Blue Sky Studios.

“When you’re a part of something that becomes that big for so many people, especially children, you can’t help but feel proud. Scrat was something unique to the creative process, in that he wasn’t originally defined in the script. He was an organic character who took shape as a result of creative group think. So it’s very special that he’s become so embraced, and it felt very natural for Scrat to become an integral part of Blue Sky,” Saldanha says. “We all loved those little noises he makes!”

Saldanha’s relationship with fellow filmmaker and Blue Sky head Chris Wedge has been instrumental to his career. “Chris is a visionary and working with him has been a tremendous experience,” Saldanha says. “We’re interested in telling relatable stories in an exciting and fresh way, and Chris brings a great attitude to the creative process.”

Following up the huge success of 2002’s Ice Age would prove to be interesting for Saldanha, who helped to craft 2005’s Robots, calling it a “transitional film for me, moving out of the Ice Age’world, and getting involved in something new. And that’s what we love to do, we love building worlds within our films. And with Robots, we got to do something a bit unique with the characters and setting.”

The two Rio films clearly mean a lot to Saldanha, who says he was “thrilled to infuse my Brazilian heritage into the film, and it was a big goal for me to show the city of Rio de Janeiro in a very colorful and bright fashion. These were projects that were very close to me on a personal level, so to be able to craft them in the way that we did, it was a joyous experience. It was very important for worldwide audiences to embrace these films. I wanted to create a mood and tone with no boundaries and a free spirit approach to the storytelling. This was a true passion project.”

Saldanha’s newest project, the animated adventure Ferdinand, hits screens December 15. It’s based on the classic children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, about a Spanish bull that would rather stop and smell the roses than participate in bullish activities. John Cena voices the title character, with Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez and Daveed Diggs among the other voice-over artists.

“We’re currently halfway through animation and it’s coming along fantastic. We’re so thrilled for people to see it as we’re having so much fun working on this particular story,” Saldanha says. He adds there will be a “wonderful musical component to the film,” as he’s again collaborating with favored film composer John Powell. “We really wanted to capture the richness of Spain, with vibrant and bold colors, so that the audience can really feel the atmosphere. And with John doing the score again for us, we’ll have something really special for the audience. We extended the original book but we retained what’s essential to the core story of a big bull with a really big heart.”

Saldanha was also asked to participate in the 2014 anthology film Rio, I Love You, with other celebrated filmmakers including Jose Padilha, Fernando Meirelles, Paolo Sorrentino and Guillermo Arriaga. “I had such a great time doing my short for Rio, I Love You,” Saldanha says. “I did it to test the waters, and I’m excited about tackling a live-action project in the future. I’m not sure what it’ll be exactly, but I love to challenge myself and keep things fresh. But I’ll never leave animation behind. That’s where my heart is.”

Meirelles Reuniting with Rachel Weisz on Latest Film

Noted filmmaker Fernando Meirelles is reuniting with actress Rachel Weisz on what could be his next award-winning film.

Fernando Meirelles

The 56-year-old noted Brazilian filmmaker and Weisz, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener, are back together on 360.

The dramatic thriller, which will be distributed by Magnolia Pictures, follows the stories of several people from contrasting social backgrounds through their intersecting relationships.

360

Along with Weisz, the film stars Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Ben Foster, Jamel Debbouze and Moritz Bleibtreu.

Magnolia Pictures is planning a video on demand premiere for 360 on June 29, ahead of the film’s August 3 theatrical release.

Meirelles rose to acclaim for helming the critically acclaimed Brazilian film City of God, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director in 2004. He was also nomnated for a Golden Globe for Best Director for The Constant Gardener.