Paris-based Loco Films has acquired sales rights to “Bingo – The King of the Mornings,” a pulsating tragicomic take on the cost of fame in the Brazilian TV world of the ‘80s which marks the feature debut as a director of editor Daniel Rezende, Academy Award-nominated for Fernando Meirelles “City of God” and editor of Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.”
Loco Films will be introducing “Bingo” to buyers at next week’s American Film Market.
Written by Luiz Bolognesi, whose screenwriting credits include 2017 Berlin Panorama hit “Just Like My Parents,” “Bingo” also represents Brazil in 2018’s foreign-language Oscar race. It is inspired by the true-life story of Arlindo Barreto, who played Bozo the Clown on Brazilian TV giant Globo in the early ‘80, helping to convert the program into a ratings and tamest behemoth which at one point lasted 10 hours.
Bursting with period pop aesthetics and energy, “Bingo” charts the ascent to stardom of Augusto, a TV clown whose genius at improvisation, quick tongue and political incorrectness transforms him into one of the early ‘80s TV icons, who helps define an era of pop culture, and brings happiness to generation of children – including director Rezende, who always says that he was more interested in backstage the show itself.
Backstage, in the movie as real life, Bingo becomes the most famous anonymous celebrity in Brazil, as a clause in his contract bans him from revealing his true identity, even to his son. Seething with frustration, a man behind a makeup mask, his ascent to the pinnacle of stardom is accompanied by a descent into cocaine addiction, self-alienation and estrangement from his own son, who regards him as a loser.
A tragicomedy, says Bolognesi, who credits Fernando Meirelles for suggesting Rezende and he should push the film in that direction, “Bingo” plays out at various levels: as a nostalgic tribute to the energies and pull of ‘80s TV, a father-son relationship drama – Arturo is on TV, making a lot of children laugh every day but not his own son,” Rezende comments – and, he adds, “a film about the very human issue of a search for recognition of your work, your art and talent. There’s something very contemporary in this topic.”
“Bingo” is produced by Caio and Fabiano Gullane’s Brazilian film-TV production powerhouse Gullane, a company backing movies by some of Brazil’s first auteurs, such as Anna Muylaert’s 2015 Sundance and Berlin winner “The Second Mother,” auspicious debuts like Fernando Coimbra’s “A Wolf at the Door” and TV breakout hit “Jailers.” Warner Bros. co-produces out of Brazil. “Bingo” is produced in association with Dan Kablin and Joshua Skurla’s Empyrean Pictures (“Rio I Love You,” “Sunlight Jr,” with Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon).
“Full of energy and uplifting, ‘Bingo’ is the fascinating story of an idol who was forbidden to reveal their true identity, a clown on a kids TV show whose backstage was bursting with parties, whisky and pretty girls,” said Loco Films founder and head Laurent Danielou.
“Daniel Rezende observes this irreverent world with a frantic rhythm and a pop style : Already a huge name on editing, it’s now clear he is a new director to be watched.”
“Bingo” is Daniel Rezende’s first feature film as a director, after being known for his exceptional career as an editor worldwide,” said Fabiano Gullane.
He added: “We are very excited to have Loco Films on board, representing international sales. With the admiration we have for the company and for Laurent Danielou and Florencia Gil, we are sure this partnership will bring wonderful results.”