TV

Stratos TV brings Brazilian slums to life with hit drama series

Monday 14 March 2011, 10:05AM
By Stratos Television
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Internationally acclaimed television series “City of Men” drew a massive 35 million viewers when it aired in Brazil.

Created by Academy and Oscar nominees Fernando Mereilles and Katia Lund, it will screen on New Zealand’s free-to-air, nationwide channel Stratos TV from Thursday, April 7 at 8:30pm.

The series follows the lives of two teenage boys struggling to grow up while constantly facing drugs, gangs and poverty in the Brazilian slums of Rio.

Filmed on location, director Katia Lund says the series is realistic, deals with big themes and captures an energy that makes it feel real.

“There is so much humour and irony in reality and absurdity in the way things work,” Katia says. “The point of view of 12-year-olds is ideal because they ask literal questions. That age group is perfect because they face so many dangers and so many temptations and their eyes are opening up to the world and you worry about them because they are kids.”

City of Men follows the lives of Acerola (Douglas Silva) and his handsome, best friend Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) and has a fascinating take on events and a sharp sense of humour as they get more and more caught up in the struggle of everyday life.

Television reviewer Tim Goodman from the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “City of Men pulses with the kind of energy you don't get often on American television and the realness of the shot-on-location scene really makes each episode feel like a mini movie.”

Stratos TV chief executive Jim Blackman says it’s natural for City of Men to have found a home on Stratos TV, which provides programming for all New Zealanders.

“This new series represents a new face of New Zealand television, one which shakes up traditional conventions and questions existing norms. It’s eye opening, realistic and provides a new window to the world, which is what Stratos is all about,” Mr Blackman says.

The series consists of 20 episodes which will be scheduled in two seasons kicking off in April.

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Stratos Television is an independently owned, New Zealand broadcaster currently reaching audiences nationwide via Sky Digital (Channel 89), Freeview (Channel 21) and TelstraClear cable and in Christchurch and Wellington on TelstraClear cable (Channel 50).