Germany’s Black Forest Boards Oscar Shortlisted Carlos Segundo’s Feature ‘Milk Powder’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Berlin-based Black Forest Films has boarded “Milk Powder,” the upcoming feature of rising Brazilian talent Carlos Segundo, Oscar shortlisted for his short “Sideral.”

“Milk Powder” is selected to participate in the Berlin Film Festival’s Script Station Lab. Run by Christoph and Josune Hahnheiser, Black Forest joins Segundo’s O Sopro do tempo and France’s Les Valseurs as co-producers. “Milk Powder’ will be Les Valseurs’ second collaboration with Black Forest after the feature documentary “Los nombres propios,” by Fernando Dominguez, which starts shooting in a month’s time, said Les Valseurs producer Justin Pechberty. The project has also secured development support from the Hubert Bals Fund.

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In “Milk Powder,” Segundo “deploys a cinema of wandering, sprinkled with rock hits and absurd humor,” says the synopsis. It follows Vicente, a wannabe rocker, in his quest for love and most of all, for meaning to life. His own personal crisis exemplifies a generation of Brazilians struggling with its own existential crisis, exacerbated by the ascent of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro in 2018.

O Sopro do tempo and Les Valseurs have collaborated on four other projects in the past, including Segundo’s feature “Fendas” (“Slits”) and more recent shorts, “From Time to Time, I Burn,” “Big Bang,” which snagged the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival last year, and his latest short, “Sideral,” among the 15 on the 2023 Oscar shortlist for Best Live Action Short.

“Sideral” premiered at Cannes and Telluride and has snagged up to 65 awards including in Chicago, Palm Springs, Hollyshorts and LA Shorts. It’s the only South American short on the Oscar shortlist this year.

Not unlike his other shorts, “Sideral” (which means outer space in English) has an absurdist storyline. It focuses on a couple, she a cleaning lady and he a mechanic, whose lives are upended when Brazil sends its first manned rocket ship into space.

Said Karim Aïnouz whose Cannes Un Certain Regard winner “Invisible Life” represented Brazil at the Oscars in 2020: “The success of ‘Sideral’ is so important for Brazilian cinema, at a time when our country is just emerging from four years of physical and symbolic violence by the extreme right, particularly against culture.”

“And to see a young filmmaker like Carlos who never stopped making films, with or without money, telling stories that make us dream, it gives us all energy to continue making movies, to continue to re-imagine the world,” he told Variety, adding: “His film is wonderful in every sense, unique in its form and carried by a gorgeous and original script, with an ending you won’t forget.”

Nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be unveiled on Tuesday, Jan. 24 while the Oscars ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 12.

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