Portugal’s Film and Audiovisual Institute supports three new features
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Three fiction films, directed by Marco Martins, João Botelho and Edgar Pêra, will each be in receipt of a €600,000 production grant
Portugal’s Film and Audiovisual Institute (ICA), the country’s main film body, has announced the distribution of €1.8 million to support the making of three new features. The board has awarded each of Marco Martins’ Great Yarmouth. Provisional Figures, Edgar Pêra's The Nothingness Club and João Botelho's The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis with a €600,000 production grant.
Martins’ project follows on from his previous drama, Saint George [+see also:
Q&A: Marco Martins
film profile], which depicted Portugal’s devastating economic recession and was carried by the moving performance of Nuno Lopes, who portrays an unemployed boxer forced to work as a debt collector using deplorable methods. Great Yarmouth. Provisional Figures originates from a stage play developed during an art residency at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, and is based on the personal tales of immigrants who have settled on the east coast of England. The film is being co-produced by Portuguese outfits Uma Pedra No Sapato and Vende-se Filmes.
The Nothingness Club is Edgar Pêra’s latest foray into the literary world of poet and writer Fernando Pessoa, as it follows his documentary Lisbon Revisited [+see also:
film profile], a cinematic symphony of voices from Pessoa’s multiple personas, released four years ago. The new movie, produced by domestic firm Bando À Parte, has been co-written by the director and Luísa Costa Gomes, who already worked together on The Baron, an adaptation of Branquinho da Fonseca’s novel of the same name.
Finally, João Botelho’s The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis is based on José Saramago’s book of the same name. In the 1984 novel, Ricardo Reis returns to Lisbon from Brazil, upon receiving word of Fernando Pessoa’s death. He then decides not to resume practising medicine, instead choosing to live in a hotel, exploring the streets of the Portuguese capital and voluntarily alienating himself from society. Produced by Lisbon-based firm Ar de Filmes, filming for the feature is set to begin in 2019.
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