'Escaping Robert Parker' also a winner in Portugal

MADRID — Latin jazz scene-set “Chico and Rita,” Spanish helmer Fernando Trueba’s first animated film, nabbed the Turismo de Douro prize at Portugal’s third Douro Film Harvest, which wrapped on Saturday.

The prize for the fest’s Wine and Food Films sidebar went to “Escaping Robert Parker,” by Ed Burley, who picked up the award in person.

A seven-day umbrella event, organized in Portugal’s picturesque Douro wine valley, the DFH saw a major hike in Portuguese premieres, which made up 80% of the program, alongside fest favorites that included Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.”

Directors in attendance included Solveig Nordlund (“The Death of Carlos Gardel,” which opened the fest), Brazil’s Carlos Diegues (for a Tawny Tribute), Canadian-British artist-turned-helmer Zev Robinson (“Life on the Douro”) and helming duo Elena Gugliuzza and Patricia Boillart (“Isola, Where Bacchus’ Language is Spoken”).

Douro’s first Ibero-American Lab, organized by Madrid-based Ocean Communications CEO Annabelle Aramburu, was an industry event focused on co-production between Portugal, Spain, Latin America and Africa, maximizing access to distribution channels, especially new media.

Illustrating how Argentina’s film sector taps into international co-productions, Ukbar Filmes’ Pablo Iraolo argued that Portugal, with low production costs, could follow suit.

Aramburu discussed an interactive documentary about pregnancy, “Mother Today,” financed by an Icaa Spanish Film Institute subsidy and pre-buys from regional TV stations in Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha and Aragon.

Portuguese producers Fernando Vendrell and Pandora da Cunha Telles discussed their Africa-shot projects, co-funded by the EU’s African, Caribbean and Pacific support fund.

Other examples of co-productions under the Lab microscope included Zeze Gamboa’s “The Great Kilapy,” a Portugal-Mozambique-Angola-Brazil co-production, and Licinio Azevedo’s debut feature, “Margarida,” linking Portugal, Mozambique and France.

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