The Last Animal

In a favela in Rio, Didi - a recent accounting graduate - wants to live a peaceful and honest life - contrary to his brother Calango's life of crime. At a samba school rehearsal, Didi encounters an English friend - Alex - who is now in Rio as CEO of a brokerage firm. In this unexpected encounter, Alex offers him a job. Unaware of the illegal world of money laundering that Alex is involved in, working for his father-in-law Frank Martinez, Didi eagerly accepts the job offer.

Paulinha, a transgender woman, dreams of being featured in the Rio carnival parade and having a musical career in the Brazilian funk scene. She is the illegitimate daughter of Casemiro Alves (Ciro), a Portuguese emigrant who runs the “Animal Game” (“Jogo do Bicho”), an illegal gambling scheme that is very popular in Brazil. Ciro is also the owner of a samba school and a powerful boss of “Rio’s mafia”. Alex meets Paulinha and they start a forbidden relationship. Didi and Alex begin to work for Ciro, the "bicheiro", laundering the millions from the “Animal Game".

In a favela, the drug trafficking leader Calango is losing money with his drug business. Sergeant Magalhães, a corrupt cop and Ciro's right-hand man, deliberately delays a supply of weapons that Calango desperately needs to protect his territory from an imminent police invasion. Ciro and the local politicians promise to hand over the "mouth" of Calango's favela to the faction. However, there is one small problem: Didi is Calango's brother. And here begins a web of intrigue and complications.

As we follow Didi's journey and transformation, we travel into the sordid world of drug trafficking and corruption of Rio, a magical and mysterious city where dreams vanish and crime and law have no limits.

  • Leonel Vieira
    Arte de Roubar, O Pátio das Cantigas, Conexão
  • Leonel Vieira
  • Carlos de Andrade
  • Felipe Bretas
  • Leonel Vieira
    Executive Producers
  • Carlos de Andrade
    Executive Producers
  • Felipe Bretas
    Executive Producers
  • Edu Pereira
    Executive Producers
  • Leonel Vieira
    Original Idea
  • Leonel Vieira
    Based on the script of
  • Leonardo Gudel
    Based on the script of
  • Ernesto Solis
  • Joaquim de Almeida
    Key Cast
    Queen of the South, Desperado
  • Junior Vieira
    Key Cast
  • Duran Fulton Brown
    Key Cast
    Jason Bourne, The Musketeers
  • Alejandra Toussaint
    Key Cast
    "Emilia Martínez"
    Monarca, El Cesar
  • Joe Renteria
    Key Cast
    "Frank Martínez"
    Queen of the South, A Better Life
  • Marcello Gonçalves
    Key Cast
    "Sgt Magalhães"
  • Samuel Melo
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    O Último Animal
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 49 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 3, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    2,000,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Festival de Cinema de Gramado
    Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul
    Brazil (Coproducer country)
    Official Selection - Foreign Feature Films
Distribution Information
  • Thomas Molter
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Leonel Vieira

Leonel Vieira is one of Portugal’s most successful and best known directors and producers. He has directed 3 series and 11 feature films, some of which are in the top 10 of the most watched Portuguese films in history and has the highest box office in Portugal with the comedy “O Pátio das Cantigas”.
Since 1998, he has been in more than 100 international festivals, having received more than 20 awards in film and advertising. In Portugal, as a director, he won several awards at the Clube dos Criativos (Portugal’s most important advertising awards). In 2008, as a director, he was nominated for the LIA Awards (London), with a spot for Vodafone.
In 2019, Leonel Vieira was a juror at the Shanghai International Film Festival and at the Magnolia TV Awards. In the same year, he was co-producer of the well-known animated series in China, “Panda and the Rooster”.
The promotional film “Monção Deixa Marca”, which he wrote and directed for the Monção Municipality recently won Gold at Japan World’s Tourism Film Festival and 3 awards at the Finisterra Arrábida Film Art & Tourism Festival in 2022, including “Best Short Documentary”.
Currently, he directed the period drama series “THE CRIME OF FATHER AMARO”, which won Best TV Series and Best TV Pilot at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival - Web Series (2023). He is also preparing the release of his latest feature film “THE LAST ANIMAL”, a drama / thriller set in Rio de Janeiro, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Gramado Film Festival in (2022).

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Director Statement

“The Last Animal” shows us the human conflicts where the resource of violence is the answer to the problems, like a consequence, putting the characters in the border line of an intimidating society or a society that they intimidate.
This film gives us the perspective from those who truly command organized crime in Brazil and how they administer this multi-million dollar business at the cost of blood and tears.
A great part of the visual and dramatic strength will come from a documentary style, the close-ups, and the handy camera, burdened by the anxiety and the ability to show a vision continuously astounded by the action but without renouncing the inevitable portrait of a social history.
It’s an aggressive and polemic plot, exactly because this sub-world and the political influences of who really commands the drugs traffic in the “favelas”, was never dissected before.
“The Last Animal” is for me a unique opportunity to offer the viewer this disturbing and fascinating vision of the world.