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Jorge Pelicano triumphs at the Caminhos do Cinema Português Festival


- Suddenly My Thoughts Halt, which was shot in a psychiatric institution, is the big winner at the gathering dedicated to national films

Jorge Pelicano triumphs at the Caminhos do Cinema Português Festival
Miguel Borges in a scene from Suddenly My Thoughts Halt

Suddenly My Thoughts Halt, directed by Jorge Pelicano, was the winner of the top prize at the 20th edition of Caminhos do Cinema Português, an event dedicated exclusively to national productions that is held every year in the university city of Coimbra.

Suddenly My Thoughts Halt, the third documentary that Pelicano has directed, was shot in a Porto psychiatric institution over a number of weeks. Produced by Até ao fim do mundo, the film follows a narrative thread that revolves around painting a portrait of the institution on one hand and, on the other, an actor in search of his character.

Pelicano has shied away from conducting any direct interviews, instead allowing his camera to capture the day-to-day relationships that exist among a group of patients. Initially, the movie focuses on three men who are just some of the hospital’s outpatients – ie, individuals who spend the day there and then go home at night. But there are many more people who find themselves in more precarious situations, undergoing various forms of psychotherapy, ranging from music, through theatre, to painting. The wide variety of patients’ portraits is broadened even further when actor Miguel Borges makes his entrance and when they increasingly start to interact with one another.

In celebration of the institution’s 131st anniversary, the management of the hospital decided to organise a stage play that would get the patients involved. As part of the creative process, they invited Miguel Borges to play the role of modernist painter and poet Ângelo de Lima, who was admitted as a patient in this very same hospital. Schizophrenia then becomes the starting point for him as he constructs his character, while the action also brings to mind the poem “Suddenly My Thoughts Halt”, on which the film’s title was also based.

Meanwhile, What Now? Remind Me [+see also:
film review
festival scope
film profile
 by Joaquim Pinto made off with the Best Documentary Award, Coro dos Amantes by Tiago Guedes won the Press Award, and Coveiro, by André Gil Mata, was crowned Best Animated Film. The “Revelation” Award went to 26-year-old director Adriano Mendes for his O Primeiro Verão [+see also:
film profile

In the acting category, Nuno Pardal (who recently appeared in The Maias – Story of a Portuguese Family [+see also:
film review
film profile
) and Isabel Abreu were awarded for their work in Éden and Coro dos Amantes, respectively.

The 20th edition of Caminhos do Cinema Português presented a total of 63 films, comprising shorts, features, documentaries and animated movies.

(Translated from Spanish)

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