Movies

Disney’s Star+ To Track Confederates Who Left U.S. For Brazil In Period Drama Series ‘Americana’

EXCLUSIVE: The plight of ‘Confederados’ who left the U.S. for Brazil after the American Civil War will provide the backdrop to Disney drama series Americana.

We’ve learned the streaming series, which is for Disney’s Star+ in Brazil, is shooting in São Paulo with a cast including Den of Thieves and American Violence actor Kaiwi Lyman. São Paolo production house CineFilm is making the show based on scripts from Maurilio Martins and Manuel Moruzzi. Two six-episode seasons have been ordered ahead of a 2024 launch date.

Brazilian actors Caco Ciocler, Andre Ramiro, Bruno Gissoni, Larissa Nunes, Zeze Motta, Thalma de Freitas, David Júnior, Maria Luiza Mendonça, Luciano Quirino, Zahy Tentehar, Lucila Gandolfo, Diego lleske and Ditte Marie le-Fèvreare also part of an ensemble cast.

The series is set in Americana, a municipality in the state of São Paulo, during the late 19th century and follows the Confederates who left the U.S. for Brazil after losing the American Civil War. We hear it follows a police officer and his female slave, who is also a detective, as they uncover the truth behind murders in the town. About 20,000 Confederate subjects — known as Confederados — left America to emigrate to Brazil in the 19th Century.

Lyman is represented by Austin Leshay at Hyperion Talent Agency and Justin Deanda at Activist Artists Management in the U.S. and Achilles Araujo Produções in Brazil.

Brazil is something of a production hotbed right now, with São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other major cities and regions looking to attract overseas investment and scale up local projects. We’ve recently reported on a pair of international productions from Rio’s Diosual Entertainment: Paula Richard’s U.S. co-production Fordlândia — Battle Between Worlds, set to the backdrop of Henry Ford’s failed industrial town in the Amazon Rainforest, and Land of Shadows, a Brazil-Portugal production about gay soldiers in the 17th Century penned by International Emmy winner Pedro Vasconcelos.

Spcine, the São Paulo film commission, has been in Cannes over the past week promoting its multi-million dollar production cash rebate program, which is now targeting international projects. Brazil’s new left-wing government is also planning to invest hundreds of millions into the audiovisual sector to give it a shot in the arm and make it the dominant production spot in Latin America.

Deadline understands key Brazilian producers this week are meeting Joelma Gonzaga, the Brazilian Audiovisual Secretary, to discuss how government policy can help them develop projects. Gonzaga has been in Cannes appearing on a panel about filming in Brazil and meeting industry figures.

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