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Silver anniversary of Fantasporto splash in Cannes

Going now to its 25th edition, Fantasporto has brought to Portugal for the first time the films of such names as David Cronenberg, André Tarkovsky, Brian de Palma, John Carpenter, Alain Resnais, David Lynch, Pedro Almodovar, Andrzej Zulawski, Ridley Scott, Luc Besson, Peter Greenaway, Neil Jordan, Jean-Jacques Beneix, Joel and Ethan Cohen, Sam Raimi, Brian Yuzna, Peter Jackson, Hal Hartley, Anthony Minghella, Quentin Tarantino, Roberto Rodriguez, Danny Boyle, Paul Anderson, David Fincher, James Mangold, the Wachowski Brothers, Scott Hicks, Scott Reynolds and the Dutch director and Oscar winner Mike Van Diem, among many others.

Situated in the west corner of Europe, the World Heritage City of Porto hosts a one of a kind film festival. Founded 25 years ago by a group of film fans and critics, Fantasporto, as it is known, started as a haven for sci-fi and fantasy films , a then not too well seen genre. After a huge sucesss in the first two years, the festival has broaden its horizons with thrillers and seven years later with a New Directors competition. Although fantasy is still its trade mark, especially for the Portuguese press, it is recognized as the biggest in Portugal and one of the most important in Europe.

Giving space to big screen productions, to autheur films and to experimental projects from all over the world, Fantasporto has created enthusiastic audiences, ranging from cinephiles to more popular spectators, with an annual average of 110,000 film goers. In its 24th edition in February the festival reached 104,000 people and 5,000 media references (both national and international) with a record of 187 hours of TV time. Present in Oporto were circa 100 members of the foreign press and about 250 Portuguese journalists and media representatives.

In spite of being organized by a private entity, the event is mostly State funded, with the Ministry of Culture leading and the President of the Republic as head of the Honour Committee, and with private sponsors backing strongly, responding to the festival¹s crowd appeal.

The guests are mostly representative of the films in competition (126 this year), having increased in number over the years due mostly to word of mouth. They are lodged in 5 star hotels and enjoy a full programme of tours in a city that was the European Capital of Culture in 2001.

The films arrive from both from major companies such as Warner, Columbia, UIP or Fox, producers as Miramax, New Line or Summit or from top companies all over the world. The festival is fertile ground for the discovery of new cinematographies, for "sneak previews" or for launching "difficult" films like "Bullworth" or "Scream 3" (wich had their European premières at Oporto). Distributors also frequently test the possible theatrical impact of their new films in Fantasporto as it was the case with "South Park" (Warner), ³Heaven" and "Dogma ( both Miramax) or "Bats" (Columbia). The Fantas awards are usually used in the promotion of the films in the national market.

The success of Fantasporto is also measurable by the increasing number of offers coming directly from the producers, with United Artists and Columbia sending directly their films such as "Audition", "Plots With a View" and Soderbergh´s "Solaris".

Not really an organised market, still deals are made, or new productions (mostly European) are agreed upon in the festival restaurants or in the Rivoli Theatre lobbies, the heart of Fantasporto, a beautiful renewed cinema of the 40¹s, right in the commercial centre of the city, with the Atlantic Ocean, the River Douro and the port wine cellars close by.

The organizers, the Cooperativa Cinema Novo, has been writing about, programming and promoting films as well as publishing books since 1978. In recent years they have also become involved in the acquisition of theatrical and video rights for Portugal. The process started with Peter Jackson¹s "Braindead", Fantasporto Best Film Award in 83, and went on with Jane Campion "An Angel at My Table", Tobe Hooper"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or most recently Veit Helmer¹s "Tuvalu" among others.

The Cinema Novo Collection is going on 100 titles, the great majority already with theatrical release, exploiting a niche which has remained untouched by national distributors, and thus increasing the diversity in Portuguese screens as the multiplex AMC Cinemas have understood and given support.

It is always pleasant to remember the birth and the development of the Oporto International Film Festival, since its launching in 1981, still as a non-competitive event, till adulthood in the 1993 edition.

Considered by the professional international magazine "Variety"as one of the 60 top film festivals of the world, and the best as far as the fantasy genre is considered, Fantasporto has become the most talked about film and culture event in Portugal.

Since the very beginning, Fantasporto had as goal the creation of a dynamic forum of all arts, with a strong tendency to show the best of fantasy films and the diversity of the film world. The Festival has also tried to bring to its programme a group of sidebars as art exhibitions,theatre plays, puppet presentations, lectures, seminars, poster competitions, comics and amateur film-making, as well as the publishing of several film related material.

It was this combination of several art forms which gave Fantasporto the appeal it still has today, at the top of all film festivities in Portugal, gathering an enthusiastic crowd and the support of official and governmental authorities, local entities and private companies.

Through these 25 years we have presented in competition over 5,000 films (new feature length and short films), never before released theatrically in Portugal.

The Festival brought to Portugal, in an obvious promotion of national tourism an important group of film-makers, producers, actors, screenplay writers, film critics and journalists.

Danny Boyle, Brian Yuzna, Elias Mehrige, Julian Temple, Bill Plympton, Júlio Bressane, Richard Elfman, David Lynch, Ben Kinskey, Mariano Baino, Robert Golden, Ray Brady, Luc Besson, Karel Zeman, Andrzej Zulawski, Francis Leroi, Wolf Gremm, Carl Schenkel, René Laloux, Mansur Madavi, Monique Enckell, Oldrich Lipsky, Harry Kumel, Vicente Aranda, Juan Luis Bunuel, Roy Ward Baker, Ivan Cardoso, Piotr Szulkin, Mike Hodges, Jesus Garay, Alex Cox, Carlos Saura, Rauol Servais, André Delvaux, Pim by la Parra, George Sluizer, Imanol Uribe, Jean Claude Carrière, Serguei Paradjanov, Danny Elfman, not forgetting the presence of the Portuguese film-makers such as António Macedo, Victor Silva, Ana Luisa Guimarães, Cristina Hauser ou Margarida Gil, Fernando Vendrell, Fernando Lopes, Joaquim Leitão, Tino Navarro, Paulo Branco, Manuel Costa e Silva, in a total of 2,400 guests who have honoured us with their presence.

The promotion of European and Portuguese films was permanent as a counterpoint to the north- american film industry.

The Teatro Municipal Rivoli has become the centre of the Festival in 1998.

Fantasporto haves created and consolidated a trade mark of sympathy and warm welcoming, together with an accurate and competent organization which makes the difference with other festivals.

The final results for these twenty five years is clear to all and proved by the big press dossiers that the Festival has been collecting through the years, it with a significant projection on the production companies and international organisms, without loosing the charactheritics of the informal but priveliged treatement of its guests, the nacional and international media members and the large audience which has been always since the earliest editions.

We are proud of having contributed, in twenty five years, to the international projection of the town, the region and the country, promoting the cinema and above all, returning to the spectators the will and joy of watching movies.

Fantasporto Awards

They have been awarded by the International Jury

"The Redeemer" by Kristo Papic (82)

"Scanners" by David Cronenberg (83)

"Le Dernier Combat" by Luc Besson (84)

"The Company of Wolves" by Neil Jordan (85)

"Fuego Eterno" by Jose Angel Rebolledo (86)

"Defense of the Realm" by David Drury (87)

"A Chinese Ghost Story" by Chin Siu Tung (88)

"Monkey Shines" by George Romero (89)

"Black Rainbow" by Mike Hodges (90)

"Henry" by John McNaughton (91)

"Toto, L´Heros" by Jaco van Dormael (92)

"Braindead" by Peter Jackson (93)

"Cronos" by Guillermo del Toro (94)

"Shallow Grave" by Danny Boyle (95)

"Seven" by David Fincher (96)

"Bound - Sem limites" by Waschowski Brothers (97)

"Retroactive" by Louis Morneau (98)

"Cube" by Vincenzo Natali (99)

"Siam Sunset" by John Polson (2000)

"Amores Perros" by Alejandro Gonzalez (2001)

"Fausto 5.0" by Los Fura del Baus (2002)

³Intacto² by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (2003)

"A Tale of Two Sisters" by Kim - Jee Won (2004)

New Directors Week Awards

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" by Tom Stoppard (91)

"Three Days" by Sharunas Barta (92), "Swoon" by Tom Kalin (93)

"Bodies, Rest & Motion" by Michael Steinberg (94)

"Clean, Shaven" by Lodge Kerrigan (95), "Madagascar Skin",by Chris Newby e "Two on a Couch", by Amir Rezazadeh, Ex-Aequo (96)

"Unhook The Stars" by Nick Cassavetes, (97), "Character" by Mike van
Diem(98)

"Happiness" by Todd Solondz (99)

"East is East"de Damien O¹Donnell (2000)

"Purely Belter" by Mark Herman (2001)

"Bloody Sunday" by Paul Greengrass (2002)

³L.I.E.² by Michael Cuesta (2003)

"The Green Butchers" by Anders Thomas Jensen (2004)

They were discovered in Portugal by Fantas

David Cronenberg with "Shivers"

André Tarkovsky with "Solaris",

Brian de Palma with "Carrie"

John Carpenter with "Dark Star",

Alan Resnais with "Providence"

Peter Fleishman with "O Mal by Hamburgo"

David Lynch with "Eraserhead"

Andrzej Zulawski with "Possession"

Bigas Luna with "Caniche"

Ridley Scott with "Blade Runner"

Luc Besson with "Le Dernier Combat"

Peter Greenaway with "The Draughtsman´s Contract"

BZ serials by Charles Band,

Jean-Jacques Beinex with "La Lune dans le Caniveau"

Arnaud Selignac with "Dream One"

Neil Jordan with "The Company of Wolves"

Joel e Ethan Cohen with "Blood Simple"

Lars von Trier with "The Element of the Crime"

Ken Mc Mullen with "Zina"

Pedro Almodovar with "Matador"

Freddy Krugger with "Nightmare on Elm Street"

Sam Raimi with "Evil Dead"

Pinhead in "Hellraiser"

The asian legends in "Chinese Ghost Story"

Leos Carax with "Mauvais Sang"

Stephen King with "Maximum Overdrive"

Vincent Ward with "O Navegador"

Renny Harlin with "Nightmare on Elm Street 4"

Bernard Rose with "Paperhouse"

Imanol Uribe with "La Luna Negra"

Peter Jackson with "Bad Taste"

Mary Lambert with "Pet Sematary"

John McNaughton with "Henry

Portrait of a Serial Killer"

"Troma Films" and the master Serguei Paradjanov

Hal Hartley with "Trust"

Shinya Tsukamoto with "Tetsuo"

Jeunet e Caro with "Delicatessen"

Anthony Minghella with "Truly, Madly, Deepl

Jaco Van Dormael with "Toto, l´heros"

Quentin Tarantino with "Reservoir Dogs"

Tim Robbins with "Bob Roberts"

Guillermo del Toro with "Cronos"

Jan Sverak with "The Elementary School"

Philip Haas with "The Music of Chance"

Robert Rodriguez with "El Mariachi"

Danny Boyle with "Shallow Grave"

Paul Anderson with "Shopping"

Lodge Kerrigan with "Clean Shaven"

Juanma Bajo Ulloa with "La Madre Muerta"

Stephen Elliot with "Priscilla"

Roger Avary with "Killing Zoe"

Lee Tamahori with "Once Were Warriors"

David Fincher with "Seven" and "Alien 3

Harold Solwen with "Denise Calls Up"

James Mangold with "Heavy"

Larry &Andy Waschowski with "Bound"

Nick Cassavetes with "Unhook the Stars"

Scott Hicks with "Shine"

Greg Mottola with "The Daytrippers"

Alex de La Iglésia with "El Dia de La Bestia"

Animé and the japanese Animé

Michael Haneke with "Funny Games"

Finn Taylor with "Dream With the Fishes"

Louis Morneau with "Retroactive"

Nick Willing with "Photographing Fairies"

Takashi Miike with "Fudoh - The New Generations"

Scott Reynolds with "The Ugly"

Victor Nunez with "Ulle´s Gold"

Mike van Diem with "Character"

Giuseppe Gaudino with "Giro di Luna Tra Terra e Mare"

Pal Sletaune with "Junk Mail"

Vincenzo Natali with "Cube"

Suzanne Bier with "Credo"

Bill Plympton with "I Married a Strange Person"

Sabu with "Dangan Runner"

Hiroyuko Okiura with "Jin-Roh"

Lisa Cholodenko with "High Art"

Peter Mullan with "Orphans"

Don McKellar with "Last Night",

David Caffrey with "Divorcing Jack"

Gaspar Noé with "Seul Contre Tous"

John Polson with "Siam Sunset",

Veit Helmer with "Tuvalu"

Jaume Balagueró with "Los Sin Nombre"

Ben Hopkins with "The Nine Lives of Thomas Katz", and many others.

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