From Brazilian director and screenwriter Sérgio Machado comes the drama “Heliopolis” (although in English-language territories, it’ll be released as “The Violin Teacher”), which is set to close the ongoing 68th Locarno Film Festival this Saturday night, August 15.
The film stars Lázaro Ramos as Laerte, a talented violinist, who has to give music lessons to teenagers at Heliópolis’ public school after failing to be admitted to the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. Despite the difficulties he faces in his new teaching position, the transforming power of music and the friendship arising between the professor and his students, open doors to a new world for him.
Ramos’ name will hopefully be familiar to some of you, as he starred in a handful of Brazilian films covered on this blog over the years. He was once the man called Brazil’s Denzel Washington. His work includes the 2005 “O Homem que Copiava” (or “The Man Who Copied”), which won eight Brazilian Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Supporting actor and Best Supporting Actress. There’s also 2005’s Brazilian film noir “Lower City” (“Cidade Baixa”), and 2014’s “O Grande Kilapy” (“The Great Kilapy”), among a few.
Joining Lázaro Ramos in “The Violin Teacher” are Elzio Vieira, Kaique Jesus, Sandra Corveloni, and Fernanda de Freitas.
Director Machado penned the screenplay with Maria Adelaide Amaral, Marcelo Gomes, and Marta Nehring.
Produced by Brazil’s Gullane production company, one of the country’s most prominent, with Fox International Productions co-producing, “The Violin Teacher” has been picked up by Germany’s Films Boutique, who acquired world sales rights outside Latin America and Portugal.
No trailer yet; but check out a few images from the film within this post.