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LOCARNO 2016 Portugal

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The Ornithologist and Correspondências to compete at Locarno

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- The Swiss festival will once again receive a strong contingent of Portuguese features and shorts; the new films by João Pedro Rodrigues and Rita Azevedo Gomes stand out in competition

The Ornithologist and Correspondências to compete at Locarno
Paul Hamy in The Ornithologist

At recent editions, the Locarno International Film Festival has become a privileged showcase for Portuguese directors to premiere their latest works and bask in some international limelight. This year is no exception, as the local contingent will be represented at the indie Swiss festival by several titles – and three of them are part of the prestigious international competition.

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João Pedro Rodrigues – currently a guest of honour at the 24th Curtas Vila do Conde Festival with an exhibition dedicated to his and João Rui Guerra da Mata’s projects (read more) – will be competing at Locarno with his highly anticipated The Ornithologist [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: João Pedro Rodrigues
film profile
]
. This peculiar reinterpretation of the myth of Saint Anthony is a Portuguese-French-Brazilian co-production starring French actor Paul Hamy (read more). Rodrigues’ latest feature, The Last Time I Saw Macau [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, received a Special Mention at Locarno in 2012.

Also set to be shown in competition is Correspondências [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Rita Azevedo Gomes, a film based on the correspondence between poets Jorge de Sena and Sophia de Mello Breyner. The film was produced by 2015 Producer on the Move Joana Ferreira for Lisbon-based outfit CRIM Produçoes.

The third local title in competition is a minority co-production with France. Based on a novel by Joseph Conrad, Jeunesse [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by French director Julien Samani was partly shot in Portugal with a Portuguese cast and crew (including Miguel Borges and António Simão, among others).

Four short films also made it into the competition section: the animated title Estilhaços by José Miguel RibeiroSetembro by Leonor Noivo (currently also in competition at Vila do Conde), À noite fazem-se amigos by Rita Barbosa and Um campo de aviação by Joana Pimenta.

The other Portuguese productions or co-productions will not be seen in competition, but will rather be spread out across the festival’s other sections. João Botelho will present his film-tribute Cinema, Manoel de Oliveira and Me [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (read more), Gabriel Abrantes will show his projects A Brief History of Princess X and The Hunchback, which he co-directed with Ben Rivers, and José Oliveira will premiere his short Longe.

The local presence is capped off by the Mozambican-Portuguese title Comboio de sal e açúcar [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Licínio de Azevedo and the Swiss-Portuguese title Rio Corgo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Maya Kosa and Sérgio da Costa.

The Locarno International Film Festival unspools between 3 and 13 August.

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