New Toronto Production Company UVCI Films heads to TIFF in pursuit of South Asian Talent
With diversity finally on the rise in the entertainment industry, a new Toronto production company aims to shine a light on those that haven’t had the chance yet. UVCI Films, an up-and-coming company born from the juxtaposition of Indian roots and international initiatives, unites the best of both worlds when catering highly artistic content of local stories to a global audience.
Its mother company, a leading film studio located in Hyderabad, India, is known for its list of blockbusters and strong presence at the Tollywood marketplace. UVCI Films, however, aims to differentiate from its mother company, by creating projects in an independent scale that are able to travel across the globe.
“UVCI Films came about with the desire of internationalizing local South Asian stories; bringing it to a global spectrum. The Asian film market has been growing in the past few years and we want to be able to focus on the topic of immigration and the new generations of Asian communities outside of Asia,” said Executive Producer Helena Sardinha.
UVCI Films has a team of three players, Krishna Anaberi as Managing Director and Producer; Helena Sardinha and Rafael Thomaseto as Executive Producers and responsible for the company’s operations, sales and acquisitions.
Following the trend of exploring South Asian stories, the company focuses on the enlargement of this market segment and the success of the releases of films like Parasite, Crazy Rich Asians and Burning.
“India by itself has a one billion population and it has become one of the major players in the film industry. Their population is big, and they have the audience for local content. But Indian stories are not contained in Indian territory - they are expanded in the second, third generations across the globe. Those are identity forming characteristics. The understanding of people living abroad is as impactful as the understanding of the legacy they leave in their new countries. Those stories are valid and need to be told,” said Anaberi.
The first appearance of the company together was during the iconic Toronto International Film Festival 2019. TIFF 2019 marked the one-year anniversary of the company. Anaberi spent the past few years looking for producers to join forces with him and bring fresh and experienced mindsets to a big studio located in India. As head of development of the company, he went to TIFF last year in search of filmmakers and encountered Sardinha and Thomaseto during their first year of the festival, two Brazilian producers based in Los Angeles, where they have their own entertainment company. As the three of them navigated the market and exchanged their life and work experiences, they started working together and spent a whole year developing and preparing what is now UVCI Films. This year at the festival, they looked for South Asian talent for content to produce.
“We were surprised by how many times we heard the names Brazil and India at TIFF. One of the strengths of our company is our international experiences all around the globe and our desire to bring a spotlight to immigrants with stories that haven’t yet been told. We had productive meetings, we did a lot of research to understand what the market is looking for in the future and successfully made new contacts with producers, creators, directors, buyers, publicists, lawyers, and other industry members. TIFF was a success and we are ready to go back home and start flourishing those relationships and preparing our goals for 2020,” said Thomaseto.
UVCI Films expects that by next year’s TIFF, they will be coming with a slate of projects to share with the audience. They plan to have their first feature film under execution by the middle of 2020.
“UVCI Films has started as a fresh small boutique entertainment start-up, as it feels great for us and our goals to have our name connected with well-curated content in recognized film festivals over the next few years, and reaching the right audience for the stories we want to tell. Our near future goal is to make sure we meet the right people to work with us in this new endeavour,” Sardinha concluded.
Be sure to keep an eye out for this fresh and innovative Canadian production company.
By Emma Woolfrey
Oct. 1st, 2019