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Portugal’s Strong Presence at the 2019 Berlinale

Seven Portuguese titles will screen during the Berlinale, and a bevy of Portuguese producers are attending the European Film Market seeking co-producers and international sales agents for their projects.

Two Portuguese features will screen in the non-competitive Berlinale Forum dedicated to more avant-garde cinema. “The Portuguese Woman,” a historical drama by Rita Azevedo Gomes, is based on Robert Musil’s “Three Women,” adapted by Portuguese novelist, Agustina Bessa-Luis. The film premiered at Argentina’s Mar del Plata. It has an austere filmic style, based on static movements of the actors, thereby creating tableaux vivants.

“Serpentarius” is about a young man in search of his mother’s ghost in a post-disaster African landscape. Angolan-born Carlos Conceição’s shorts include “Goodnight Cinderella” and “Bad Bunny” which both played in Cannes’ Critics Week.

The Forum Expanded sidebar includes 40-minute experimental documentary “Fordlandia Malaise” by Susana de Sousa Dias, about failed utopia Fordlandia, established in 1928 by Henry Ford in the Amazon forest. Sousa Dias specializes in experimental films using archive footage including “Natureza Morta” and “48.”
Jorge Jácome’s experimental short, “Past Perfect,” competes in Berlinale Shorts. Combining fiction and documentary, the short explores sensations of nostalgia and longing.

“Story From Africa,” produced by Lisbon’s Divina Comedia, is an experimental short by U.S. filmmaker Billy Woodberry — co-founder of the Afro-American film collective, LA Rebellion.

Portuguese neo-noir crime drama series, “South,” by Ivo M. Ferreira (“Letters From War”), produced by Arquipélago Filmes and represented by Latido Filmes will screen in the Drama Series Days Market Screenings. The project was presented at script stage in Berlin’s 2018 CoPro Series.

Starring Adriano Luz and with soundtrack by Portuguese rock band, Dead Combo, the visually striking series, lensed in the Lisbon area, reflects the renewed commitment by broadcaster RTP to produce original drama series that blend a distinctive directorial style with strong audience engagement.

The Berlinale Talents section includes distributor Susana Santos Rodrigues, actor Mauro Soares, director Gonçalo Almeida and also director João Vieira Torres — whose experimental documentary “Aurora” will screen in DOC Station.

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