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FESTIVALS Portugal

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LEFFEST celebrates its 11th edition

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- Film, theatre and visual arts mingle in the festival directed by Paulo Branco

LEFFEST celebrates its 11th edition
Damned Summer by Pedro Cabeleira, which is in LEFFEST’s official competition

Founded in Estoril, subsequently travelling between Lisbon and Estoril, and now swinging between the Portuguese capital and the legendary village of Sintra, LEFFEST celebrates its 11th edition between 17 and 26 November this year. The host cities may have changed over the years, but three distinctive hallmarks remain: its controversial artistic director, Paulo Branco; the particular way in which the event is organised, sitting at the crossroads between film, theatre and visual arts; and its ability to attract celebrities to the country.

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This year’s edition brings back some of the names that were present at previous editions: directors David Cronenberg (president of the jury), Mathieu Amalric and Abel Ferrara, and actors Willem Dafoe and Isabelle Huppert. The French star, who was nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year for her performance in Elle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, will have a retrospective of her prolific career dedicated to her. She will also attend the opening of “Isabelle Huppert: Woman of Many Faces” at MU.SA (Museu das Artes de Sintra) – an exhibition that gathers together images by Robert DoisneauNan Goldin and many other photographers. 

In addition, Portuguese director João Mário Grilo will be the subject of a comprehensive retrospective that includes the previously unseen short Não Esquecerás.

Beyond stars and retrospectives, LEFFEST is also an opportunity to watch some of the most highly praised films that have premiered at the A-list festivals throughout the year. Some of these titles still haven’t found a domestic distributor, while others see the festival as a promotional platform for their theatrical release: indeed, this is the case for the Portuguese film Damned Summer [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Pedro Cabeleira
film profile
]
Pedro Cabeleira’s feature debut was selected for the latest Locarno Film Festival, and it is now in LEFFEST’s competition section.

Along with Dammed Summer, 12 other movies are competing for LEFFEST’s top prize, most of them highly anticipated European co-productions, such as Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and Xavier Beauvois’ The Guardians [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
. The rest of the selection comprises Cocote [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Nelson Carlo De Los SantosThe Day After by Hong Sang-sooHow to Talk to Girls at Parties [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by John Cameron MitchellDevil’s Freedom by Everardo GonzálezA Man of Integrity by Mohammad RasoulofLucky by John Carroll LynchFrost [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sharunas Bartas
film profile
]
by Sharunas Bartas, Closeness [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Kantemir Balagov and Western [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jonas Dornbach
interview: Valeska Grisebach
interview: Valeska Grisebach
film profile
]
by Valeska Grisebach.

Meanwhile, the non-competitive line-up is equally eye-catching: Mathieu Amalric’s Barbara [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
Abdellatif Kechiche’s Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
 are the standout titles among the 17 must-see features. The other movies in this section are A Prayer Before Dawn [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat by Sara DriverThe Captain [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Robert SchwentkeFirst Reformed by Paul SchraderI Love You, Daddy by Louis CK, It Comes at Night by Trey Edward ShultsClaire’s Camera [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Hong Sang-soo, Last Flag Flying by Richard LinklaterMolly’s Game by Aaron SorkinLover for a Day [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Philippe GarrelC’est la vie [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Olivier Nakache and Eric ToledanoWonder Wheel by Woody AllenOn Body and Soul [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
film profile
]
by Ildiko Enyedi, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Martin McDonagh.

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