Berlin laureates Gomes and Salaviza ring the alarm bell
by Vitor Pinto
18/02/2012 - Portuguese directors Miguel Gomes and João Salaviza (pictured), the filmmakers behind Tabu [trailer, film focus] and Rafa respectively, both received awards this evening during the closing ceremony of the 62nd Berlinale.
Tabu, filmed in black and white and with a narrative structure in two parts (read more), won the FIPRESCI prize, announced on Friday, and the Alfred Bauer Prize, that awards a film for its innovative characteristics.
In his acceptance speech, Gomes noted with irony that he had actually intended to make an “old-fashioned” film, then dedicated his award to Portuguese cinema, “ to the talent of filmmakers like Manoel Oliveira, Pedro Costa, César Monteiro, Paulo Rocha and others who for 50 years did a cinema which is independent from both political and economical power.”
Gomes’ implicit tone of protest was echoed in Salaviza’s acceptance speech, who a few minutes before received a Golden Bear for his short film Rafa. The 27-year-old director, laureate of the Golden Camera at Cannes 2008 for his short Arena, dedicated his award to the Portuguese government: “ If they do a good job, I'll dedicate this prize to them. It's a conditional offer,” he said.
International recognition for Tabu and Rafa comes at a critical time for Portuguese cinema, or at least one more critical than usual. Subsidies from the ICA have been suspended since January, and public debate on a new cinema law, to which the sector's professionals oppose, has been open since the beginning of February.
(Translated from Spanish)