Portugal under the spotlight at Locarno’s First Look
by Vitor Pinto
- The section, dedicated to work-in-progress titles, aims to boost the films’ international careers and help them on their way to completion
First Look, the Locarno Film Festival’s section dedicated to films in post-production, is to focus on Portuguese cinema this year. In partnership with Portugal’s film body, the ICA, the Swiss festival has programmed a total of six work-in-progress titles for this section, which at previous editions trained the spotlight on directing talents from the Baltic countries, Poland, Israel, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia. Screenings are targeted at an audience of professionals, including sales agents, international distributors and festival curators.
The programme includes Tiago Hespanha’s Campo, a film essay on Europe’s largest military base, produced by Terratreme; Gabriel, the feature debut by former Producer on the Move Nuno Bernardo (beActive Entertainment); Blue Breath, a docudrama by Rodrigo Areias (Bando à Parte in co-production with Finland’s Oktober Film and France’s Gladys Glover Film); Earth, co-directed by Romanian-born director Rossana Torres and Japan’s Hiroatsu Suzuki (Associação Entre Imagem, in co-production with Optec); Pedro Filipe Marques’ Viveiro (O Som e a Fúria); and Vicente Alves do Ó’s summer tale Sunburn (Ukbar Filmes).
All of these titles are expected to be completed between September and November, and one of the three First Look awards would definitely facilitate the process: said prizes consist of €65,000 for post-production services, €5,500 for advertising and €5,000 for the design of the film’s international poster. The jury includes José Luis Rebordinos (San Sebastián Film Festival, Spain), Janet Pierson (SXSW, USA) and Eva Sangiorgi (Viennale, Austria).
“From contemporary to classic filmmakers, Portuguese cinema has always been acclaimed by the critics for its artistic excellence but at the same time has always attracted sales agents and the main international festivals. We are thus convinced that First Look on Portuguese Cinema will arouse the interest of the industry professionals at Locarno,” stated Locarno’s deputy artistic director and head of Locarno Pro, Nadia Dresti.
Outside of the First Look section, a number of other Portuguese (co-)productions will also be trying their luck at Locarno: Eugène Green’s Como Fernando Pessoa Salvou Portugal and Dídio Pestana’s Anything and All [+see also:
film profile] are part of the Signs of Life section, while Marco Amaral’s short film 3 Anos Depois and Manel Raga Raga’s Grbavica will compete in Leopards of Tomorrow, the jury for which includes Portuguese director Marta Mateus.
The 71st Locarno Film Festival takes place between 1 and 11 August.
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