CANNES – Ventre Studio, Coral Europa, Canal Brasil and TVI are producing Godless John, starring Brazilian acting legend Marco Nanini as John of God, as the setting for one of the first independent serial co-productions between Brazil and Portugal.
Onza Distribution has acquired the international distribution rights to the series. It has started showing it to buyers at this week’s Mipcom show.
Directed by Marina Person (“California”), the three-part series features a strong Brazilian cast that has achieved international acclaim: Bianca Comparato, star of Netflix hit “3%”, Karine Teles (“Second Mother”) and Antonio Saboia (“Bacura”).
Two Portuguese actresses will be confirmed shortly.
Since early development, Ventre Studio has focused on the international dimension of the story, said Paula Cosenza, producer and partner at Ventre Studio. This is reinforced by Portuguese characters that bring a “foreign perspective”.
The story itself may be Brazilian, but with international impact and global resonance.
The fiction series revolves around two sisters who arrived in the small town of Abadiânia 17 years before the João de Deus rape scandal.
One of them is traumatized by the so-called “spiritual healing surgery,” while the other becomes a stalwart of the medium and claims to have witnessed the miracle of her sister’s healing. She decides to settle permanently in Abadiânia.
“The plot unfolds as the two sisters reunite, which culminates in a surprising twist,” reads a synopsis.
Godless John is inspired by one of the most notorious sexual abuse cases in modern Brazil, in which self-proclaimed media and psychosurgeon João Teixeira de Faria, known as João de Deus, became the subject of over 600 sexual abuse allegations. including rape and pedophilia.
Before his arrest, John of God’s healing practices received a great deal of international attention – Oprah Winfrey even visited him in Brazil – although here are few documented cases of patients getting better after treatment.
Lead produced by Ventre Studio, which is quickly establishing itself as a Brazilian powerhouse, a key to “Godless John” is its production structure.
Beyond Globo, international TV co-productions are rare in Brazil, Cosenza noted. Even rarer is the case of Godless John, an independent co-production in which the producers retain intellectual property, with the series expected to be sold in the international market, she noted.
“Co-production is a model proven worldwide and signing this partnership to spread Brazilian content beyond our country and reach an even larger audience fulfills our goals,” said André Saddy, Director of Canal Brasil.
“The three protagonists in our series (all female) represent the real women who started the whole scandal: Carmen represents the belief in the healing powers of John of God, Cecília represents the victims of rape and Ariane (Carmen’s daughter) plays them Part of a girl who only realizes she’s been abused after other women have spoken out,” added director Marina Person.
“The entire Coral team is proud of this first co-production with Brazil. We are clearly investing in the internationalization path and in TVI, Ventre Studio and Canal Brasil we have found the ideal partners to realize this mini-series about such a timely, impactful and socially relevant story,” he said. Bruno Santos, Managing Director of Coral Europa.
The main creative and executive decisions on the show are made by women.
The production also has the support of Bem Querer Mulher, a holistic support initiative for women affected by violence in Brazil, for sensitive reading of the scripts and on-set support during the most delicate scenes.
“TVI is delighted to be a partner in this co-production, which will fictionalize a story with global impact and will feature two Portuguese actresses in the cast,” said Cristina Ferreira, Director of Fiction and Entertainment at TVI.
In addition to filming in Brazil, the series will also include scenes shot in Portugal.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/global/joao-de-deus-marco-nanini-ventre-1235408218/ Serial rape drama “Godless John” started by Ventre, Coral, Canal Brazil, TVI