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Pierre Ange le Pogam from Rio Fest


Europacorp, Luc Besson´s filmmaking European studio created in 2000 with his partner Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, is rapidly expanding its potential for international co-productions.

Le Pogam, CEO of Europacorp, announced the first co-production with Latin America today at the Rio Film Festival in front of festival delegates, confirming that the first Brazilian movie will be shot mid-2005.

The French-Brazilian co-production, the first of its kind, will see EuropaCorp co-finance and produce with Brasilia-based BSB Cinema Federal, a contemporary crime thriller set in the country's capital, Brasilia. Eschewing traditional precepts of Brazilian film, Federal is being sold as a high-concept drama, original both in style and subject matter, at the same time providing a probing insight into modern Brazil's society and culture.

The film is based on an original story by BSB Cinema's Erik de Castro, who also co-scripted the screenplay. Castro will also direct, making his feature debut following helming shorts and documentaries, including the highly regarded Senta A Pua!.

First presented at the Sundance Screenwriter Lab in 2001, the project was tracked by EuropaCorp artistic advisor Francois Da Silva over a period of time, finally attaching it to EuropaCorp in time to be announced during the Rio Festival.

"It fits exactly the kind of projects EuropaCorp is looking for as it takes its production activity beyond its roots in France and Europe," says Pierre-Ange Le Pogam.

Now among France's most successful film and media entities, EuropaCorp was founded in 2000 when Besson sortied his longstanding producer Gaumont over issues relating to a script he delivered but did not want to direct.

The disputed script was produced by Besson and Le Pogam under their new banner, Europacorp. The result wasTaxi, one of France´s biggest commercial successes, attracting over 25 million admissions, setting up EuropaCorp to become one of the biggest mini studios in Europe. The company boasts an annual turnover of $100 million and since 2000 has produced 30 features either as single source or co-productions on budgets ranging from $2 million to $40 million.

EuropaCorp´s founding move into Brazil follows similar forays into Asia, The Far East and
across Europe. It also marks a period of heightened production activity, with the company at different stage of production on such high profile projects as the $80 million 3D animation feature Arthur, the Penelope Cruz - Salma Hayek vehicle Bandidas, director Louis Leterrier´s Danny The Dog with an international cast including Jet Li, Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman, Guy Ritchie´s Revolver, and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada which will see Tommy Lee Jones directing for the first time.

Says Rio Film Festival Executive Director Ilda Santiago of the announcement: "For us it is wonderful to see this announcement made at the Rio Festival. The whole premise of the Rio Festival is to bring international film makers together with our own. To see such a major co-production with Brazil spotlighted here is an encouraging sign that Festival do Rio is achieving its underlying purpose."

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