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FESTIVALS Portugal

Bad Blood opens Fantasporto

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, directed by Tiago Guedes and Federico Serra, will have its world premiere at the 26th Fantasporto, Oporto International Film Festival (February 20 – March 5), becoming the first national production to open Portugal's most prominent film event.

Starring Adriano Luz, Manuela Couto and Sara Carinhas, the thriller tells the story of a Lisbon family that inherits a mansion in the deep countryside. But, as the locals say, the house carries with it an ancient curse. Produced by Paulo Branco for Madragoa Filmes, with the support of ICAM and public broadcaster RTP, the film was written by TV journalist Rodrigo Guedes de Carvalho, who had already signed the script for Alta Fidelidade (High Fidelity), a TV film directed by Serra and Tiago Guedes in 2000. According to Festival Director Beatriz Pacheco Pereira, the film "shows that a new generation of filmmakers started making short films in recent years and is now moving towards feature films with the same quality".

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The Festival will close with Jaume Balagueró's Fragile, a Spanish horror film starring US actress Calista Flockhart. A regular at the festival, the Catalan director made a splash at the 20th edition of Fantasporto, winning the Best Director and Critics' Awards with The Nameless.

Between the opening and closing films, Fantasporto will screen over 400 titles (short and feature films), with special retrospectives on expressionist German cinema (including classics by Fritz Lang and Murnau), Bollywood and the works of the Shaw brothers (China) and US director Bill Plympton. Besides the competition section Cinema Fantástico (Fantastic Film), which includes 16 features and 12 short films, the festival also has three non-competitive sidebar sections: Cinema Português (33 short films), the recently created Porto em curtas and Anima-te, dedicated to young audiences.

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