Magazine article Screen International

'A Ciambra', 'Patti Cake$' Producer: "Our Main Goal Is a Theatrical Experience"

Magazine article Screen International

'A Ciambra', 'Patti Cake$' Producer: "Our Main Goal Is a Theatrical Experience"

Article excerpt

Rodrigo Teixeira has built a name for himself championing acclaimed low-budget features such as Robert Eggers' The Witch and Geremy Jasper's Sundance hit Patti Cake$, which is screening at this year's Cannes Film Festival in Directors' Fortnight.

The Sao Paolo native moved into film-making from finance a decade ago, prompted by the desire to work in an industry he had loved ever since he started devouring US cinema as a child.

Although his financial background gave him good business experience, Teixeira wasn't happy. "I didn't feel connected with that world," he explains.

Teixeira, who is an avid reader, started buying the film, TV and stage rights to novels by Brazilian authors. "I didn't have a film background so I thought this was a way in," he says.

First credit

He received his first producer credit for Bruno Barreto's Romeo And Juliet Get Married in 2005 and went on to set up RT Features with a group of private investors later that year. The company produced and financed Heitor Dhalia's comedy drama Drained, based on a book by Lourenco Mutarelli to which Teixeira had previously bought the film rights. Drained played at Sundance in 2008, giving Teixeira his first taste of the film world outside Brazil.

And this also gave Hollywood its first taste of Teixeira as US producers started expressing interest in two books he had optioned: Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw and Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen (neither have been made to date). He also secured a US agent in UTA, although he is now represented by CAA.

"UTA started representing me because I had money and taste," says Teixeira, bluntly. "It was the economic crisis and people weren't putting money into development but it was also a good time to buy books. I started developing a lot of material. My [then] agent Rich Klubeck called me in 2010 and asked if I knew Noah Baumbach and could I finance his new film?"

Luckily Teixeira knew and liked Baumbach's work and was keen to work with producer Scott Rudin, who was already attached to Baumbach's project. Through RT Features, Teixeira committed to produce and fully finance Frances Ha.

"That put me in a position to finance new ventures and projects," he says. …

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