As the Brazilian audiovisual sector prepares to return to shooting movies and shows after being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, new health and safety guidelines are being implemented to prevent further spread of the disease and to protect those involved in production.
To ease the burden on already hard-hit producers, Show Me The Fund — a joint venture between Brazilian Content, Brazil’s film promotion program Cinema do Brasil and Olga Rabinovich’s philanthropic support initiative Projeto Paradiso — has teamed with Sony Pictures Entertainment to offer financial backing of roughly $400,000 to 100 independent Brazilian producers through the Sony Global Relief Fund. Operating under the moniker Back to Sets, the money will be distributed evenly among selected producers by the Institute for Brazilian Audiovisual Content. The total amount awarded must be spent on COVID-19 health and safety measures.
“The resumption of filming is a highly anticipated movement by professionals of the national audiovisual industry, but it is essential that it is done in the safest way possible. We hope that the Back to Sets fund is able to support the movement of returning to sets, thus contributing to guarantee the safety of industry’ professionals,” explained Josephine Bourgois, executive director at Projeto Paradiso, in a statement.
Online registration for funding opens Feb. 1 on Show Me The Fund’s website, and will run for three weeks with selected parties announced on March 1. All qualifying projects must be registered with Brazilian national film agency ANCINE and must begin filming between March 1 and Dec. 31 2021. Only live action feature films can apply, no advertising, animation or short films will be considered. Selected producers must own a majority of the qualifying production’s IP, and priority will go to projects with international co-producers.
“We have the mission of keeping up the audiovisual industry’s good performance and, despite this critical moment of the pandemic, cannot let the sector come to a full halt. With this thought in mind, we decided to act now towards the creation of the Safety and Health Protocol in order to provide financial viability for a return to sets,” said Simoni de Mendonça, president of the São Paulo State Audiovisual Industry Association (SIAESP), responsible for Cinema do Brasil.
She also made sure to recognize Sony’s contribution, saying: “It is important to highlight the collaboration of the private sector, which in this gesture of support to the Brazilian audiovisual industry, recognizes the quality of our production.”