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Romancing Rio

Not new to Hindi cinema, the land of the Samba boasts of beautiful beaches and a vibrant cultural canvas

Rio de Janeiro, commonly referred to as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second-largest city in Brazil and the third-largest metropolitan area in South America. Rio is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa, which means Marvelous City.

Rio de Janeiro is the main cultural hub in Brazil. Its architecture embraces churches and buildings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, blending with the world-renowned designs of the 20th century. The city is influenced by the Portuguese, English, and French in its culture and architecture.

Rio is the most visited city in the Southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, and balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. Some of the most famous landmarks, in addition to the beaches, include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop the Corcovado Mountain. One of Rio’s most famous sights is the sinuous design of the Copacabana sidewalk bordering a beach of shining white sand, leading down to the gentle surf of the Atlantic Ocean. 


Rio has a tropical savanna climate that closely borders a tropical monsoon climate and is often characterised by long periods of rain from December to March. In inland areas of the city, temperatures above 40 °C are common during the summer, though rarely for long periods, while maximum temperatures above 27 °C can occur on a monthly basis.Along the coast, the breeze, blowing alternately onshore and offshore, moderates the temperature. Because of its geographic situation, the city often receives cold winds advancing from Antarctica, causing frequent weather changes. The mountainous areas register greater rainfall since they constitute a barrier to the humid wind that comes from the Atlantic.

Production In Rio


To be able to shoot in Rio, one needs to be associated with a local producer, who is registered with Ancine (National Film Agency). To be eligible for incentives offered by the Filme Rio-Rio Film Commission (FRRFC), the local producer’s company has to be registered either in the city of Rio or within the state.

Foreign producers must establish a partnership with a Brazilian production company, who, in turn, must be registered with Ancine, and who will report to the national agency on the foreign producer’s behalf.Every year, the FRRFC opens a Public Bid geared towards providing financial support to audiovisual productions – both feature films and TV series, either fiction or documentaries – that are shot in part or fully within the state of Rio de Janeiro.


Several incentives for film production and location shooting in the city and State of Rio are available. Local Brazilian produ-cers can access different programmes such as the Rio State Box Office Reward Program, ICMS Turnover Tax Cultural Incentive, the State Secretariat of Culture Public Bidding Program, the Rio Investment Fund 1, Audiovisual Financial Credit Lines and Investe Rio Loans, which help in production in Rio.

Independently, films produced through collaboration with Brazilian producers may combine funds from municipal, state and federal incentive programmes. However, the use of federal funds requires that a minimum 5 per cent of the funds be brought in either by the producer or by a third party. Foreign films shot on location in Brazil are eligible for federal funds, which are available solely to films co-produced with Brazil. Article 3A of the 8586/93 Law states that any Foreign Tax Payer might benefit from a 70 per cent rebate of their due tax.


Every cast and crew member who isn’t a Brazilian resident or doesn’t hold a Brazilian passport will need a work visa or a temporary visa to be able to film in Rio de Janeiro, city or state. However, location scouting will only require a tourist visa.

In some cases, the FRRFC will be able to facilitate the issuance of work visas for cast and crew assigned to projects approved for shooting on location in the city or state of Rio. Normally visas are issued by Brazilian Consulates and Embassies abroad.

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