Gelo to open the 36th Fantasporto
by Vitor Pinto
- The Lesson by Ruth Platt, My Night Your Day by András Gyorgy Dési and Gábor Máray, and The Open by Marc Lahore are among the European titles at the gathering
The 36th Fantasporto – Porto International Film Festival officially kicks off on 26 February with the world premiere of Portuguese production Gelo [+see also:
film profile] by Luís and Gonçalo Galvão Teles. This year’s edition has programmed around 200 titles from 40 countries and will unspool until 6 March.
Produced by Fado Filmes and co-produced by Spain's Potenza Producciones, with support from Eurimages, Gelo stars 22-year-old Spanish actress Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth [+see also:
film profile]) along with a Portuguese cast including Afonso Pimentel, Albano Jerónimo, Ivo Canelas, Inês Castel-Branco, Carlos Santos, João Jesus and Beatriz Leonardo.
“It has been a while since we wanted to make a film together. As happens in the plot of the film, sometimes it is not us who choose the films, but the films that choose us,” said co-director Gonçalo Galvão Teles. “Gelo is a film that goes beyond reality and the imagination. It dives into another world in which time, life, love and death orchestrate humanity. It is also a long-time dream to direct it alongside my son,” stated 75-year-old Luís Galvão Teles, who, as a producer, has another film – Luís Filipe Rocha’s Cinzento e Negro [+see also:
film profile] – in stock for release this year.
Out of the 67 countries that submitted films, 40 have been lucky enough to be selected, with a special emphasis being placed on productions from South America, where, according to festival director Mário Dorminsky, “one can find the new names of cinema”. But European talent can also be found among the various sections of the festival, including Ruth Platt’s The Lesson (UK), My Night Your Day by András Gyorgy Dési and Gábor Máray (Hungary), The Open by Marc Lahore (France/Belgium/UK), Blind Sun [+see also:
film profile] by Joyce A Nashawati (France, Greece) and The Unfolding by Eugene McGing (UK).
Besides the opening film, Portuguese production is represented by a series of shorts directed by local film schools, thus opening the door for new talents.
The Pre-Fantas – a sort of introduction to the official gathering – already got going on 22 February with the screening of Dust, the first of four films in a retrospective dedicated to the work of Macedonian-born director Milcho Manchevski. It also falls to Manchevski to wrap up the festival, with the screening of his Oscar-nominated 1994 film Before the Rain.
Having recently been embroiled in a financial case involving its board of directors, Fantasporto’s reputation has been somewhat shaken. Nevertheless, the festival remains a highly anticipated event in Portugal’s film-festival agenda. Furthermore, its director, Dorminsky, suffered a stroke and was taken to hospital yesterday, where he seems to be recovering… but the show must go on. The organisers have also launched a statement in which they expressed a hope that the gathering’s historical founder would be able to attend the festival before it draws to a close on 6 March.
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