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João Canijo shooting Fátima

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- In the new film by the Portuguese director, 11 actresses are undertaking a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Fátima

João Canijo shooting Fátima
Director João Canijo

The shoot has kicked off for Portuguese director João Canijo’s new film, Fátima [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(working title: Amén), which will focus on the longest and most difficult of pilgrimages – to Fátima, Portugal’s most famous Catholic sanctuary.

Known for the great realism he tends to infuse in his projects (In The Darkness of the Night, Misbegotten, Blood of My Blood [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Canijo has now taken a step further in his quest for authenticity. Since January, the film’s 11 actresses have been based in Vinhais, a small village in the country’s north-eastern region, where they have been interacting with local women, assimilating aspects of their routines and thus building up their characters. Each one of these characters will be a sort of alter ego of a particular woman – all of them former Fátima pilgrims.

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The stellar cast includes Rita Blanco, Ana Bustorff, Márcia Breia, Anabela Moreira, Cleia Almeida, Sara Norte, Alexandra Rosa, Teresa Madruga, Íris Macedo, Teresa Tavares and Vera Barreto, some of whom are regulars on Canijo’s projects.

A distance of 430 km separates Vinhais and Fátima – a trek that the characters will undertake on foot during a nine-day pilgrimage, although principal photography itself is supposed to last a total of nine weeks. Fátima will tell the story of that physical and spiritual journey.

Produced by Midas Filmes, Fátima is expected to be released theatrically in 2017, marking the 100 years since the reported apparition of the Virgin Mary to three shepherds in the village of Fátima.

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