Brazilian Adman Washington Olivetto's Life Will Be a Movie

His Story of Creating Ad Icons Also Includes a Harrowing 53-Day Kidnapping

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Brazil's top creatives are treated like rock stars, so it's no surprise that Washington Olivetto is about to have a movie made of his life.

Washington Olivetto
Washington Olivetto

Mr. Olivetto, whose W/Brasil agency merged with McCann Erickson in Brazil last year to form W/McCann, was one of the first larger-than-life Brazilian creatives to start his own agency, create iconic ad characters and become part of the country's popular culture. The most dramatic episode in the film, however, is likely to be Mr. Olivetto's traumatic 53-day kidnapping ordeal in 2001 in Sao Paulo. Snatched at a fake police roadblock, Mr. Olivetto ultimately managed to escape after being abandoned to die by the kidnappers who were demanding a multimillion dollar ransom.

The movie will be directed by Fernando Meirelles, who was an Oscar nominee for Best Director for foreign-language film "City of God" (Cidade de Deus, in the original Portuguese) in 2004. The movie will be based on a biography of Mr. Olivetto's life and ad agency W/Brasil published in 2005 by Fernando Morais, a well-known Brazilian biographer.

Shooting starts on the film, budgeted at $4.5 million, later this year and it's expected to be released in late 2012 or early 2013.

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