"I am not an American-type of producer"
by Vitor Pinto
- Fábrica de Imagens assumed the Portuguese part of the production of Sud Express. José Luís Carvalhosa tells us about this experience and about the projects of his production company
Cineuropa : What is the profile of your company, Fábrica de Imagens?
José Luís Carvalhosa: Fábrica de Imagens produces for cinema and for television. We always try to get involved in quality entertainment programmes. We were the Portuguese producers of Disney for eleven years – generally they keep one production company in each country for only three years – we have a project for the second season of a programme about sciences (maths, chemistry, physics...) which is accessible to everyone. The first season was a success. As for cinema, since the 90's we have been working with Italy, France and Spain. We coproduced, for instance, Roberto Faenza's Afirma Pereira, which was one of the last films of Marcello Mastroianni. We also produced national titles like João César Monteiro's Le bassin de John Wayne and Jorge Silva Melo's António, um rapaz de Lisboa...
How did the opportunity of coproducing Sud Express [+see also:
interview: Carmen Jimenez & Alina Siga…
interview: Chema de la Peña & Gabriel …
interview: José Luís Carvalhosa
film profile] come up?
I didn't know Artimaña Producciones, but Gabriel Velázquez contacted us, saying he was looking for a Portuguese coproducer for a project about the Sud Express. I was interested in it because the Sud Express is a mythical train that reminded me of the 60's. None of us made any commitment for a long time, though. We finally met up in Spain and decided to develop the project together. Then I looked for financial support in Portugal. The ICAM financed the project and we have an agreement with RTP to broadcast the film.
As a coproducer, how was the experience of working with Chema de la Peña and Gabriel Vélazquez?
I started out as a cinematographer. That is probably the reason I don't share the cold vision of a classic producer. I am not an American-type of producer. I went to the set but allowed them to do their job, and they did it well. I suppose they are the best duo of directors I had the chance to work with so far, both in the preparation of the film and during the shooting. They had an amazing capacity and serenity to solve all the issues that always come up when we are shooting. I guess actors never felt disturbed for being directed by more than one person and one can see that in their performances. They were authentic and well balanced, even if the cast is mainly amateur.
Why have you chosen Tino Guimarães and Lídia Pinville to play the former couple who meet up after 28 years? Lucia is a Portuguese woman who is emigrated to France, however she seems to have a Brazilian accent...
Tino Guimarães works with me in Fábrica de Imagens. He did a very good job. Lidia Pinville is a French woman who loves Lusitanian culture. She learned Portuguese with Brazilians, that is why she has that accent. The casting for that character was very tough. Not only was Lucia the loneliest character in the film – just look at her husband to understand why – but, moreover, she had to be bilingual (Portuguese and French). The other women who attended the casting had no problem with that but they all refused to undress and do the love scene...
What are the current projects of Fábrica de Imagens?
We are waiting for two short films to be financed by ICAM. We also have a feature film which is practically written and we are now preparing the business plan.