Brazil’s Daniel Bandeira Wins the Pop Up Film Residency Paradiso With ‘Red Express’

Projeto Paradiso has announced in Cannes that Daniel Bandeira has won the Pop Up Film Residency Paradiso. The program is created exclusively for Brazilian professionals.

Bandeira, currently developing “Red Express,” is also behind “Property”, which premiered at the Berlinale’s Panorama back in February. Born in Pernambuco, he has been a filmmaker since 2001, making his feature debut with “Peer Pressure.” 

The three-week Pop Up Film Residency – carried out in partnership with Matthieu Darras of Tatino Films – will take place in the Faroe Islands in Denmark, with Jón Hammer of Kyk Pictures joining as local partner.

“In so many ways, this project will be a step up for me. In terms of production, but also creatively. It’s a complex story,” Bandeira told Variety

“I really want to think about my potential audience this time. Who are they? It’s the kind of concern I didn’t have in the past, but I need to focus on it now. Hopefully, this residency will help me.” 

Taking place in the near future, “Red Express” is set in 2063. It follows Danila, a delivery driver who travels between cities on her motorcycle. One day, she says ‘yes’ to the “Red Express”: a protocol for delivering medical supplies that requires extreme speed and expertise. But her ex-girlfriend could actually use the substance she is transporting, so she decides to keep it.

Bandeira will be following in the footsteps of Caru Alves de Souza, selected last year thanks to Manjericão Filmes production “Lonely Hearts,” Esmir Filho (“Undetectable”) and Beatriz Seigner (“While They Sleep”).

“This is our fourth residency together and we hope that just like them, Daniel can find new possibilities and perspectives for the development of his promising new fiction,” said executive director Josephine Bourgois.

“The Pop Up Film Residency Paradiso is another opportunity that Projeto Paradiso offers to champion Brazilian professionals and projects in the international audiovisual market.”

With its sci-fi and cyberpunk-ish elements, action-packed “Red Express” will be an “unusual” production compared to those usually made in Brazil, teased Bandeira, who is also on the lookout for international partners.

“It takes place in Pernambuco, in a world that still suffers from the effects of the pandemic. This woman realizes that the cargo she is about to deliver could save the life of her loved one. That triggers a very brutal chase,” he said, opening up about his protagonist.

“I have a very strong image of her I keep carrying with me. It’s that of Angela Bassett in ‘Strange Days’ by Kathryn Bigelow. A Black, mature woman that cannot be stopped. That’s the kind of action heroine the audience is ready to see.” 

While still interested in social commentary, the Brazilian director is looking for new ways to deliver it, he says.

“I love genre cinema and the possibilities it gives you. John Carpenter, Sam Peckinpah, all these guys talked about their own times through suspense and horror. When ‘Property’ was shown in Berlin, many expected it to be just another stiff social drama. Only to go: ‘It’s a thriller?!’,” he laughs.  

Bandeira isn’t the only one exploring genre in his home country, as he mentions the likes of Gabriela Amaral Almeida (“Friendly Beast”) and Anita Rocha da Silveira (“Medusa”).  

“They are showing what the future can hold for us in Brazil. We are just starting to get in touch with each other and some wonderful friendships are forging. We are still processing a lot of anger after Bolsonaro and art can help us with that,” he noted.  

“Brazilian cinema is trying to reconnect with the audience after the pandemic. The cinemas are still empty. There are some who want to play it safe, but they are also thinking about new kinds of movies. I keep hearing about many upcoming projects that will play with these genre elements. I think it’s just the beginning.”

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