13. Oktober 2010

Munich, 13 October 2010. Beta Cinema has added the Toronto surprise hit VIVA RIVA! by Congolese director Djo Tunda Wa Munga to its line-up and already closed a first string of deals. The film about the rise and fall of Congolese smuggler Riva, who makes a fortune overnight, was sold to the U.S. distributor Music Box (“Il Divo,” “Tell No One,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), the British distributor Metrodome (“The Counterfeiters,” “The Secret in Her Eyes”) and to Rialto (“Lebanon,” “Maria Full of Grace”) for Australia and New Zealand. The trade journals Variety and Indiewire acclaimed the film, which was presented at the Toronto Film Festival, as a successful mix of “Nollywood” and genre cinema. VIVA RIVA! was produced by Formosa (France), MG Productions (Belgium) and Suka! (Democratic Republic of Congo) with the support of the French Pay TV broadcaster Canal +. Beta Cinema will present VIVA RIVA! at the American Film Market (AFM).
Riva is a petty criminal and Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the ideal place for lucrative deals. Riva is a guy like anybody else, a nobody, who suddenly strikes it rich by smuggling gasoline. With his pockets full of money, he goes from one party to the next and casts his eye on the girlfriend of the local gangster boss. But while Riva continues to party on, his enemies are getting ready for their big coup, and the dream of fast money becomes a nightmare that ends in a sordid pit on the edge of town.
Director and producer Djo Tunda Wa Munga, who also wrote the script to VIVA RIVA!, created with his first feature film a portrait of urban Africa rarely seen on screen. Munga found his actors in small Congolese theater groups and in the streets of Kinshasa. “In making Viva Riva!, I wanted to find a new way to talk about life in Kinshasa today - to describe how my hometown works and how it doesn't work,” says the director. “I also felt the time was right to depict aspects of life in the capital that everyone knows exist but no one has ever talked about publicly.” Variety praised the film as “a blast from start to finish (...), a mix of adrenaline and style. (…) writer-director Djo Tunda Wa Munga's VIVA RIVA! marks the Congo as an African filmmaking center to watch.”