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The film festival of Portugal is back to Oporto in a week

The film festival of Portugal is back to Oporto between the 20th February and the 5th March.

As usual, the Rivoli is the main theatre of Portugal¹s leading festival- with its competitive sections, Fantasy, Directors Week and Orient Express, as well as the Retrospectives of the 26th edition. And they are the Hungarian Cinema, Bollywood Cinema, Bill Plympton, the Brothers Shaw and German Expressionism.

Also included in the program is the best of the latest Portuguese cinema and an Homage to Manoel de Oliveira, the dean of all filmakers at the moment and the patron of the Director Week since 1992. There is also place for a new Section, Love Connection, dedicated to odd love stories.

Participating theatres include the Passos Manuel Cinema, The AMC- Arrábida 20, the auditorium of the Biblioteca Almeida Garrett and, of course the two auditoriums of the Rivoli, representing almost 2,600 seats.

For the first time, the Opening gala belongs to a Portuguese film, ³Coisa Ruim² by Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra, an entry for the Fantasy Competion. To close the festival is ³Fragile². After the success of ³Los Sin Nombre² (Best Director in Fantasporto 2000) and ³Darkness², Spanish director Jaume Balagueró is back to terror, with actress Calista ³Ally McBeal² Flockhart in the leading role.

The Official Fantasy Competition has two entries from Portugal, the opening film ³Coisa Ruim² by Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra, and ³Animal² by Roselyne Bosch, a co-production with France. A novelty is as well a Swedish vampire film: ³Frostbiten² by Anders Banke. Also present the first Irish Zombie film, ³Dead Meat² by Conor McMahon, together with Brazilian werewolves in Ivan Cardoso¹s ³Um Lobisomem na Amazónia² and even Canadian ones with ³Saints-Martyrs-des-Damnés² by Robin Auber.

The 16th Directors Week sees the return of ³Green Butchers²¹director, Anders Thomas Jensen with³Adam¹s Apple². The celebrated Michael Caton-Jones (³Rob Roy² and ³City by the Sea²) is back with his ³Shooting Dogs² about Rwanda¹s killings and Tony Scott (True Romance) brings the story of actor Laurence Harvey¹s daughter in ³Domino²

Orient Express shows the best eastern cinema. Kim Ki Duk is the star director with two features, ³The Bow², which was in the ³Un Certain Regard² section at the Cannes Festival, and ³Samaritan Girl², his most recent. From the Philipines comes ³The Echo², among others.

Hungarian Cinema

In the year 2006, Hungary commemorates the 50th anniversary of the revolution made by the Hungarian people against the soviets. Fantasporto has the honour to join the celebrations by bringing to the screen a retrospective which includes prestigious names such as Istvan Szabo, Márta Meszáros, Miklos Jancsó, Peter Gothár or Kornél Mundruzcó.

German Expressionism

In the early stages of cinema, the Germans had an innovative vision of cinema which is now duly recognized as having produced a dozen of masterpieces. They are all presented in Fantasporto through the names of Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau or Robert Wiene, among others.

The Brothers Shaw

Always attentive to oriental cinema, Fantasporto celebrates the 100 years of China¹s film industry with the retrospective dedicated to the Brothers Shaw whose films about martial arts, comedy or Chinese opera have become a legend.

Bollywood

A new space in the festival is the auditorium of the recently built Biblioteca Almeida Garrett which will host the Bollywood retrospective. Extra-large features, full of music and dance, a delight to the eyes.

Belgian artist and film director Manu Gomez presents an ehibition of his paintings and sculptures in its premises.

Love Connection

Time to appreciate the Roman Porno films, the Japanese soft porno films of the 70¹s. Other films in this new section introduce variations of love relationships.

Homage to veteran director Manoel de Oliveira

The patron of the Directors Week Competition since 1992, Manoel de Oliveira is going to have a special homage in his home town, Oporto, and in Fantasporto. This homage is followed by the screening of his latest film, ³O Espelho Mágico² (2005), an adaptation of a novel by writer Agustina Bessa-Luís (³O Princípio da Incerteza², 2002). A woman wishes to see the Virgin Mary in order to ask Her some questions.

The Oporto International Film Festival -Fantasporto is organized by Cinema Novo CRL, with the high patronage of SuperBock/Unicer and the support of the Portuguese State via the Ministry of Culture, the Film Institute (ICAM), ICEP/ ADETURN and the Oporto City Hall.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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