Three idealistic friends set up Aruana, an ENGO that investigates the activities of a mining company which operates in the Amazon rainforest, a place of harsh reality where strange events occur: an anonymous cry for help, people mysteriously falling ill, assassination and threats to indigenous people.
The activists, each one following their own investigative trails, have come up with a mosaic of evidence that leads them to a scheme of environmental crimes involving illegal mining and a renowned national mining company. While these women unravel a dangerous web of crimes and secrets, they also have to deal with their own ghosts and personal dramas. This could be the real life story of any organization dedicated to defending one of the most important rainforests on the planet. But rather, it is the narrative of ‘Aruanas’, a Brazilian fictional series loosely based on real facts, which will premiere in more than 150 countries, in partnership with around 28 NGO’s all over the world. The action drama thriller has a very clear goal: to warn against the global environmental crisis and promote the appreciation and protection of the extraordinary work of activists.
In a Globo and Maria Farinha Films co-production, ‘Aruanas’ goes far beyond the action-thriller genre by shedding light on the debate about the conservation of biodiversity and, consequently, of the future of life on Earth. Written by Estela Renner and Marcos Nisti, with the collaboration of Pedro Barros, the series seeks to elevate the importance of environmental advocates, who work at the risk of their own lives to defend justice, equality and a more sustainable world for society and future generations. The actresses Taís Araújo (‘Shades of Sin’), Debora Falabella (‘Brazil Avenue’), Leandra Leal (‘Empire’), Camila Pitanga (‘Side by Side’) and Thainá Duarte (‘If I close my eyes now’) are part of the cast.
Directed by Carlos Manga Jr. and Estela Renner, the series, which brought Greenpeace on board as a technical collaborator, has the support of some of the most important environmental and human rights organizations in the world, such as Amnesty International, WWF, Global Witness, UN Environment, UN Women, Open Society Foundations, Instituto Betty & Jacob Lafer, Rainforest Foundation, Avaaz, 350.org, Instituto Socioambiental, Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation, IMAZON, Conectas Human Rights, Justiça Global, ISER, Greenfaith and Articulation of the Indigenous People of Brazil (APIB).
Sustainability beyond just the theme
In ‘Aruanas’, sustainability and respect for the environment were concepts that blurred the lines between fiction and reality and permeated the entire making of the series. Reflecting the commitment to sustainability and social responsibility of Globo and Maria Farinha, first audiovisual production company in Brazil to receive a B Corp certification, the series recycled and reused clothing in 90% of all its costumes, in a green effort aimed to cut down on waste. Besides the cast and director, the series had 47% of female crew members, an initiative to promote gender equality and empower women. The cast included 131 bit part actors and 2000 extras and background actors, of which 33.8% lived in the Amazonian rainforest region.
Distribuition and global reach
‘Aruanas’ will premiere worldwide on 2 July in more than 150 countries, with subtitles in 11 different languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Turkish and Korean. The series will be made available on aruanas.tv, a platform powered by Vimeo, where it can be purchased for US$12,90. From July to October 50% of online sales will be donated to an initiative (to be revealed) designed to protect the Amazon rainforest. In Brazil, ‘Aruanas’ will be made fully available on Globoplay, the streaming platform of the Globo Group. In a special broadcast on July 3, the first episode will be aired on Globo, the largest free-to-air TV channel in Brazil, reaching 100 million viewers a day. The first episode will also be made available on Globo’s international channels to its 4 million subscribers.
Due to the relevance and pressing nature of the theme series, ‘Aruanas’ will premiere worldwide, with pre-screenings in London on June 18, New York on June 24 and in Brazil – in Sao Paulo on June 27. In Portugal, the premiere screening event will be held in July, the date is yet to be confirmed. Journalists, digital influencers, activists, environmental and social experts, and heads of organizations and government agencies have been invited to the kick-off screenings. In July, a network of activists and donors, chosen by important NGO’s present in many countries, will be able to watch the full series firsthand and for free to act as multipliers to help raise the awareness of issues related to the Amazon rainforest.
For a sustainable future
Although ‘Aruanas’ is a fictional series the main source of inspiration for its creation came from real life. The first season, with ten episodes, is set in the Amazon rainforest, a backdrop which offers a realistic outlook on global challenges such as environmental conservation and climate change. In 2018 alone, the Amazon recorded a deforestation increase of 14%, the worst rate in a decade.
‘Aruanas’ is an invitation for us to dream of a more just and sustainable future. It is entertainment put at the service of a pressing and important global cause, by taking the debate about the conservation of rainforests and work of environmental activists to the whole world.