Portugal film fest fetes helmers
CANNES — Brazilian multi-hyphenate Carlos (“Caca”) Diegues (“Bye, Bye Brazil,” “God Is Brazilian”) and Austrian Stefan Ruzowitzky (“The Counterfeiters”) will receive tributes at Portugal’s 3rd Douro Film Harvest.
The 3 year old fest will also showcase two 1960s films by the 102-year-old Manoel de Oliveira, the world’s most senior working director, who was born in the region and has set many of his films there.
Diegues, no neophyte himself, lept to fame co-directing the 1962 neo-realist “Cinco Vezes Favela,” which turned him into a leading light of Brazil’s Cinema Novo.
Based out of his Luz Magica, Diegues also produced “Cinco x Favela: Now By Ourselves,” which received a Special Screening at last year’s Cannes.
Diegues receives a five-film retro, including 1978 “Summer Showers,” said Douro Festival artistic director, producer Ivan Dias, who co-wrote “Fados” with Carlos Saura.
Festival’s Brazil focus will also count on the presence of thesps Alice Braga (“Lower City,” “On the Road”) and Jose Wilker (“Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands”), samba guitarist Paulinho da Viola, and a five-pic tribute to Carmen Miranda, born in the Douro Valley region. It will screen Sundance Audience Award winner “Senna,” a non-fiction portrait of Formula 1 racing legend Ayrton Senna from Brit documaker Asif Kapadia.
Ruzowitzky attends for a special screening of his 2008 U.S. Academy Award winner and international break-through “The Counterfeiters.”
Douro will also showcase Oliveira’s 1963 “The Hunt” and “The Rite of Spring,” made one year earlier.
A 20-minute short, “Hunt” is a grim tale about two young boys battling for survival after one is trapped while on a hunting escapade.
“Spring” marks Oliveira’s tour de force return to filmmaking after a 9-year absence. A color feature film that blends fiction and documentary, it portrays an annual passion play in a small village in Northern Portugal, that links the crucifixion to the horrors of the burgeoning Vietnam war.
The Douro fest aims to world preem at least one Portuguese film a year, Dias said.
This time round, it unveils Swede Solveig Nordlund’s “The Death of Carlos Gardel,” produced by Portugal’s Luis Galvao Teles.
It adapts the same-titled 1994 novel of Portugal’s Antonio Lobo Antunes, the esteemed novelist’s first book-to-screen transfer.