Beta Backs Brazilian Upstart Janeiro Studios With Koby Gal Raday, Ilda Santiago (EXCLUSIVE)

As Brazil rebuilds as Latin America’s major production force, German film-TV giant Beta Film has made its first move outside Europe, backing Janeiro Studios, based in Rio and led by former Beta Film top exec Koby Gal Raday and Rio Fest head Ilda Santiago

Published Time: 27.06.2024 - 18:31:24 Modified Time: 27.06.2024 - 18:31:24

As Brazil rebuilds as Latin America’s major production force, German film-TV giant Beta Film has made its first move outside Europe, backing Janeiro Studios, based in Rio and led by former Beta Film top exec Koby Gal Raday and Rio Fest head Ilda Santiago.

A fourth partner will be Brazilian producer Mayra Faour Auad’s MyMama Entertainment.

Gal Raday will serve as CEO, Santiago as MD.

The Studios’ launch catches Brazil’s film and TV in the first full flush of growth, sluiced by public funding with more quite possibly on the way.

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Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva unveiled plans at Rio’s Quanta Studios last week to invest R$1.6 billion ($295 million) in Brazilian films and series in 2025. The sector is already receiving $516 million in Paul Gustavo Law funding, in a measure greenlit before Lula came into power.

Janeiro Studios tackles head-on Brazil’s biggest challenge as a film-TV power. Big-name auteurs – Karim Aïnouz and Kleber Mendonça Filho – have both played in the Cannes main competition twice, breaking out to theatrical release abroad.

Yet, as an industry, Brazil has not been able to export more commercial propositions outside of global streamer play.

Munich-based and behind “Babylon Berlin” and “The Swarm,” Beta Film is a byword for ambition and event titles.

“After expanding our network of partners and subsidiaries throughout Europe, we are ready to move overseas,” said Beta Film head Jan Motjo. “Together with Koby, Ilda and MyMama Entertainment, we wish to explore new opportunities and business models in Brazil and South America and create programs for the world.”

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eiro Studios will focus on premium scripted series and feature films from Brazil and Latin America, as well as international high-end projects from A-list talents, the partners announced June 27. Beta Film can bring to Janeiro Studios an international interface which most Brazilian companies lack.

“In this global challenging market, I truly believe South America and Brazil are at the right moment to champion the work of emerging and established local filmmakers, connect international talents to create within these exciting local industries and explore innovative models of collaboration, co-production, and creation both locally and internationally,” said Gal Raday.

The partners look set to make projects at a scale and ambition that Brazilian companies have only begun to address in the first few years. Netflix’s “Senna” bows later this year; Ventre Studios announced earlier this week a Carlos Saldanha open sea epic “100 days.”

“This new international connection opens new doors for Brazil and our industry, as well as welcoming stories and talent from abroad to explore Brazilian potential,” said Santiago.

“In my experience, both in Brazil and abroad, it is about time we build and develop bridges for bigger productions. Brazil is ready to expand its creative and commercial boundaries, and the international market expects it from us now,” added Faour Auad.

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