Portugal's biggest film fest sells 40,000 tickets

LISBON — Helmers Ben and Josh Safdie’s Gotham-set autobiographical comedy “Daddy Longlegs” (formerly known as “Go Get Some Rosemary”) won the $20,000 grand prize at the seventh IndieLisboa, which wrapped Sunday.

With 40,000 ticket sales this year — by far the biggest of any Portuguese film fest — IndieLisboa represents an impressive 1% of the country’s total forecast paid admissions for April-June, generating vital screening fees and media buzz for local distributors.

The distribution prize, offering $13,300 in local P&A support, went to Italian drama “La Pivellina” by helmers Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, which world bowed at the fest.

The three-day Lisbon Screenings, held April 23-25, screened 19 Portuguese films (including finished features and works-in-progress) to 30 fest programmers and sales agents.

Coordinator Ana Isabel Strindberg revealed that Pedro Caldas’ coming-of-age tale, “Civil War,” was selected by Austria’s Viennale Film Festival during the screenings. Movie won honors for Portuguese film in the fest’s main prizes.

The Locarno Film Festival also provisionally gave the nod to “If I Was a Thief, I’d Steal” by veteran director Paulo Rocha, currently in roughcut stage.

Next year, fest organizers are mulling spinning off the Lisbon Screenings into a separate event as part of a strategy to launch a Portuguese film promotion agency.

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