Former Participant Exec Miura Kite Joins Maria Farinha Films as Expanding Brazilian Producer Launches U.S. Unit (EXCLUSIVE)

Brazilian social impact entertainment company Maria Farinha Films is expanding stateside by opening a Los Angeles office operated by U.S. producer Miura Kite, formerly EVP of global television at Participant, who is joining as president of global content.

Kite’s producer credits at the now-shuttered Participant include the upcoming Taiki Waititi-directed show “Interior Chinatown” that will premiere on Hulu this fall. She previously worked with Maria Farinha Films on “Esperanza,” an adventure drama jointly developed with Participant that tracks the crew of the titular vessel as they fight for environmental and social rights around the world, with award-winning director Fernando Meirelles (“The Two Popes,” “City of God”) as co-showrunner.

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For the São Paulo-based company that is a leading Latin American studio, known for its hit Globoplay Original “Aruanas,” setting up a Los Angeles outpost is part of a broader expansion plan.

Maria Farinha Films last month announced it had taken a minority stake in Joanna Natasegara’s London-based production company Violet Films, which is known for high-profile docs such as “White Helmets,” “Virunga,” “The Edge of Democracy” and Prince Harry’s Netflix series “Invictus.”

Reflecting this expansion, the company also announced it is now rebranding as Maria Farinha Films & Co.

Kite will be bringing with her several unspecified titles from the slate of projects she has developed over the past several years “hailing from diverse countries and featuring prominent talent,” according to a statement. Details of these projects are still being kept under wraps. Kite’s team from Participant is also joining the global content department at Maria Farinha Films & Co.

The board of Maria Farinha Films & Co now comprises founders and partners from the companies within the group, including co-founder Marcos Nisti as board chair; co-founder Ana Lucia Villela; co-founder Estela Renner, who serves as chief creative officer; partners and co-CEOs of Maria Farinha Films & Co Luana Lobo and Mariana Oliva; and the CEO of Violet Films, Joanna Natasegara.

“We believe in the role of storytelling to inspire social and environmental change. When a large group of people is moved, processes of change happen, and that is impact. We are now expanding our reach to engage even wider audiences,” Renner said in a statement. “With Miura joining our global content department in Los Angeles, we bring together a talented team that naturally aligns with our mission.”

Renner also pointed out that her team “would love to offer this perspective to other writers outside the U.S., and are thrilled to join [Kite] on new adventures, working together to ensure that what we hold beautiful never dies.”

Commented Nisti: “Participant has been an inspiration to many production companies around the globe because its projects raised awareness, informing and mobilizing audiences around urgent issues. It is truly an honor to have Miura and her team with us.”

At Participant, Kite, besides the upcoming “Interior Chinatown,” executive produced two seasons of “Noughts + Crosses” for BBC and the docuseries “Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey” for Netflix. She also helped develop Ava DuVernay’s limited series “When They See Us” for Netflix.

Prior to Participant, in her role as head of development of film and television at Tom Hanks’ company Playtone, Kite co-produced HBO’s Emmy-winning miniseries “The Pacific,” the HBO Emmy-winning film “Game Change” and contributed to five seasons of “Big Love” and “John Adams.” On the feature side at Playtone, Kite helped develop “Mamma Mia,” “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Kite serves on the advisory board of women’s advocacy group WeForShe that, according to its mission statement, strives to find practical ways to bring about a gender-balanced landscape in television.

Pictured above, from left to right: Estela Renner, Miura Kite and Marcos Nisti

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