Villaverde and Canijo present new films at Venice and San Sebastian respectively
by Vitor Pinto
After its conspicuous absence at the main international film festivals in the first half of this year, Portuguese cinema will be represented at the events programmed for the second half of 2011. Besides the selection and awards received at Locarno last weekend by two emerging local talents – Gonçalo Tocha’s documentary It’s the Earth Not the Moon, about Corvo Island (Azores), won a special mention, and Liberdade, co-directed by Portugal’s Gabriel Abrates and US helmer Benjamin Crotty, picked up the Film and Video Prize in the Leopards of Tomorrow section – the Venice and San Sebastian festivals will put the spotlight on two veteran filmmakers: Teresa Villaverde and João Canijo.
Six years after Trance [+see also:
film profile] screened at Cannes, Villaverde will bring to the Venice Horizons section Swan [+see also:
film profile], a film about love and about solidarity as a form of salvation, which Cineuropa will report on during the Mostra. With this film, actress Beatriz Batarda (The Murmuring Coast) follows in the footsteps of Maria de Medeiros, Galatea Ransi and Ana Moreira, who have already appeared in Villaverde’s tragedy-tinged films. The cast also includes Miguel Nunes and visual artist Israel Pimenta.
Swan is produced by Alcefilmes and will be released in Portugal in September. It should be noted that the same section at Venice will also screen The Last Generation of Portugal, a medium-length film by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt.
Meanwhile, Canijo returns with the suburban melodrama Blood of My Blood [+see also:
film profile]. Known for his uncompromising vision of a dark and bleak Portugal, the director worked on the script with his cast (Rita Blanco, Fernando Luis, Nuno Lopes and Batarda, among others) for more than a year. The resulting film is likely to screen in competition at San Sebastian, two weeks ahead of its release in Portugal.
Blood of My Blood is produced by Pedro Borges for Midas Filmes, an independent distribution company which, besides having produced this feature, also previously financed Canijo’s documentary Lusitania Illusion. The director’s new work will also be shown at the Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Pusan festivals.
(Translated from Spanish)
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