Portugal draws ‘Blood’ for Oscar consideration

Canijo's social meller is country's biggest local hit

LISBON — Helmer-scribe Joao Canijo’s gritty social melodrama, “Blood of my Blood” has been selected as Portugal’s entry for the foreign-language Academy Award.

The film bowed at the Toronto Film Festival in 2011 and then did the fest rounds playing San Sebastian (where it won the Fipresci Award), Busan, Rio de Janeiro, Miami, Barcelona and Linz.

The downbeat tale of adultery, incest and drugs set in a Lisbon slum, was the country’s biggest local box office hit in 2011, with 20,953 spectators. It was produced and distribbed by Midas Films.

“Blood” is Canijo’s ninth feature and furthers his exploration of Portugal’s dark underbelly.

Unlike previous years, Portugal’s ICA film institute delegated the nomination choice to the recently created Portuguese Motion Picture Academy.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 15. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

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