'Eccentricities' on course for festival entrance

MADRID — The latest pic from 100-year-old Portuguese helmer Manoel de Oliveira, “Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl,” is on course to world preem at the Berlin Film Festival.

De Oliveira wrapped the pic’s four-week Lisbon shoot just before Christmas, less than a fortnight after his 100th birthday. He has already completed an image edit, and will travel to Barcelona next Monday for sound mixing, said Luis Minarro of pic’s Spanish co-producer Eddie Saeta.

De Oliveira’s habit of shooting in sequence makes sound-editing relatively simple.

Meanwhile, Eric Lagesse’s Paris-based Pyramide Intl. has taken sales rights to “Eccentricities, a moral dramedy of manners about a man’s amour fou for the girl of the film’s title.

Pyramide will handle sales outside France, Spain and Portugal.

Ricardo Trepa, De Oliveira’s grandson, plays the unfortunate in love; Catarina Wallenstein, one of Portugal’s most-rated up-and-coming actresses, limns the eponymous love interest.

“Eccentricities” is majority-produced by Maria Joao Mayer and Francois d’Artemare at Portugal’s Filmes do Tejo. Eddie Saeta has taken minority equity. Pic also took coin from European Union funding agency Eurimages.

De Oliveira’s latest has been pre-bought by Portuguese pubcaster RTP, Catalonia’s TV3 and Arte Germany. Lusomundo will handle distribution in Portugal.

Despite such support, a sales company’s minimum guarantee remains a vital part of the pic’s financing and overseas distribution puzzle. That piece is now in place.

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