The House of Sand is Andrucha Waddington’s first feature-length fiction film since his 2000 award-winning Me You Them (Official Selection Cannes Film Festival/Un Certain Regard and Toronto International Film Festival; and Winner, Best Film, Karlovy Vary Film Festival). Filmed entirely in the magnificent Lençóis Maranhenses region (an environmental conservation area in the north Brazilian State of Maranhão) between July and September 2004, it features Academy Award® Nominee Fernanda Montenegro (Central Station) and Fernanda Torres (Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival 1986 for Parle-moi d’Amour), two of the most renowned actresses of Brazil and real-life mother and daughter, brought together for the first time in a film’s leading roles. Throughout the film (the story unfolds from 1910 to 1969) they share the roles of the main characters, Áurea and Maria.

The House of Sand also unites three generations of Brazilian cinema: based on an original idea by Luiz Carlos Barreto, Áurea’s saga is the work of one of the most talented directors of the new generation, and has Walter Salles as a co-producer.

In this film Andrucha Waddington is joined by some of his colleagues from Me You Them (Eu Tu Eles) (producers Leonardo Monteiro de Barros and Pedro Buarque de Hollanda, scriptwriter Elena Soárez, costume designer Claudia Kopke, sound editor Miriam Biderman and 4-time Academy Award® winning re-recording mixer Mark Berger), as well as by new collaborators such as director of photography Ricardo della Rosa (Olga), production designer Tulé Peake (City of God) and producer Pedro Guimarães.

The script of The House of Sand received the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award in 2002.

The production budget for The House of Sand was US$ 3.4m (R$8.5m). The film was mainly financed by public funds obtained via the “Chapter 1” and “Chapter 3” provisions of Brazil’s Federal Law 8.685 (Audiovisual Law), via Brazil’s Federal Law 8.313, and via direct subsidies from Brazil’s National Film Agency (Ancine) and the State of Maranhão. Private funds came from Conspiração Filmes and its co-producers.

The “Chapter 1” and Law 8.313 funds were invested in the film by the following companies: PETROBRAS, ELETROBRÁS, Vivo, Nívea, Gol, BNDES, Alcoa and Urucum Mineração (a Cia. Vale do Rio Doce company).

The House of Sand was released to enormous press acclaim in Brazil in May 2005 and is still running after 14 consecutive weeks. The screenings at Toronto will be the film’s international premiere.