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Festroia


The 26th edition of FESTROIA: TROIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held from June 4 to 13 in the beautiful coastal resort town of Setubal, Portugal. The Festival, the country's oldest and most prestigious, is known as the "Cannes of Portugal" and showcases international talents from around the world, with competition sections, special events and a program  of new works from emerging North American independent filmmakers from the U.S.A.


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Elephant Eye Films Feted At FESTROIA

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  It takes a lot of energy, enthusiasm and patience to handle independent films in this distressed market. The economic depression, the evolution of how film is being watched and the nagging uncertainty of what role the internet plays in it all, have made the independent film distribution not something for the weak of heart. While independent films fight for theater space in a world dominated by the Hollywood majors, it becomes even more important for a company to use innovative techniqu...

European Films In Competition at FESTROIA

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   SUBMARINO (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark) Twelve of the best European films produced during the last year are competing for the main award of the 26th edition of FESTROIA. The prestigious Gold Dolphin will be determined by an international jury and announced on the final night of the Festival on June 12. The film directors of the above films are a mix of newcomers to Portugal, as well as directors long admired here. Amongst the returnees are the Danish director Thomas Vinterbe...

Festroia Lifetime Achievement Award

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  On its 26th edition, FESTROIA – International Film Festival of Setúbal decided once more to pay a tribute to Portuguese cinema, by presenting a Lifetime Achievement Dolphin Award to Rogério Samora, who is celebrating three decades as an actor. Rogério Samora is the fifth Portuguese actor to receive Festroia’s most important individual award, after Ruy de Carvalho (2003), Raul Solnado (2004), Joaquim de Almeida (2006) and Nicolau Breyner (2008). Born in Lisbon in 1958, J...

FESTROIA 2009 Winners Announced

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  THE WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER (Bulgaria) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor    FORBIDDEN FRUIT, a comedic-drama about two religious girls who flaut their strict Christian fundamentalist community rules forbidding the pleasures of television, music, drinking and dancing, won the Gold Dolphin Award as Best Film at this year’s FESTROIA Official Competition. The Finnish film, written by Aleksei Bardy...

ENTRE NOS Wins North American Independents Competition

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor    ENTRE NOS, a hard-hitting and emotionally involving drama about the struggles of an illegal immigrant to make a life for herself and her children on the mean streets of New York City, was chosen as the Best Film in the North American Independents Competition of the 25th edition of FESTROIA: The Troia International Film Festival. The Festival, the oldest and largest in Portugal, ran from September 4 to 1...

Tribute To Actor Michael Madsen

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 by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor  In its 25 year history, FESTROIA has welcomed such luminaries as Lauren Bacall, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Jane Russell, Ben Gazarra and Mickey Rooney. This year, career achievement honors go to American actor Michael Madsen, who will be in Portugal to receive his prize. He is also being represented on the big screen in two films: STRENGTH AND HONOUR by debut Irish director Mark Mahon, where he gives a s...

A Focus On The Environment

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  THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (Canada) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor FESTROIA is set in the beautiful coastal city of Setubal, surrounded by water and mountains in the Sado region of Portugal. Its idyllic setting makes it a natural environment for a meditation of ecological issues and the Festival expresses its interest in a competition section entitled Man And His Environment.   This theme is expressed in the section in a combination of featur...

Interview: Henry Bernadet

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  Henry Bernadet (WEST OF PLUTO)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Quebec City-based filmmakers Henry Bernadet and Myriam Verreault have known each other since high school, so after making a series of short films, they decided that their first feature project together would be a film that took a realistic look at the lives of teenagers who attended the very same high school in the suburbs that they graduated from ten years ago. WEST OF PLUTO is a semi-...

FESTROIA Debut Directors

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  STRENGTH AND HONOUR (Ireland)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor  One of the three prestigious film competitions at FESTROIA, the Portugese festival which is nearing its mid-point, is the Primerias Obras/First Works section. This has always been a program that has attracted interested from the attending industry and public, because it points to stellar talents at the beginning of their careers. Of the eleven films in competition, ten are from Europe and ...

Festroia Film In Focus: ENTRE NOS

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor   It takes a tremendous amount of courage and insight to make a film that cuts so close to the bone, but in ENTRE NOS, an American Independent film screening at FESTROIA, the actress/writer/director Paola Mendoza delves into her own troubling past to create a universal story of perseverance and triumph.   Mendoza, who co-wrote and co-directed the film with Gloria La Monte, also stars as Mariana, a Colombian refuge...

Spotlight On Czech Cinema at FESTROIA

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Each year, FESTROIA shines its spotlight on a different film producing country. This year, it is the turn of the Czech Republic, which has been at the forefront of international filmmaking since its celebrated heyday in the 1960s. One of its best known films of that era, CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS by Jiri Menzel was screened here on Sunday evening, with the 76-year-old director in attendance. A gentle satire on Czech life du...

North American Independents Competition at FESTROIA

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  LYMELIFE (Derek Martini, USA) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Eight celebrated American and Canadian feature films by emerging filmmakers that were first showcased at such prestigious film events as Sundance, Tribeca, Rotterdam and Toronto, will compete in the North American Independents Competition of the 25th edition of FESTROIA: The Troia International Film Festival. The Festival, the oldest and largest in Portugal, runs from September 4 to 13 in the coas...

European Films Dominate FESTROIA Competition

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  MAMMOTH (Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The Golden Dolphin Competition at the 25th edition of FESTROIA, the oldest and most prestigious film event in Portugal, is reserved for films from countries whose yearly output does not exceed 30 films. That gives worthy films from somewhat smaller film industries a chance to shine and not be overshadowed by films from larger film-producing countries. Smaller is definitely mor...

VACLAV Opens 25th Edition of FESTROIA

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor VACLAV, an award-winning Czech drama, will open the 25th edition of FESTROIA: Troia International Film Festival on Friday evening, September 4. The film, winner of several Czech Lions (the Czech Oscar) and awards at the Shanghai Film Festival, is part of a tribute to recent Czech cinema that will present over a dozen films. The Festival, situated in the beautiful coastal resort of Setubal, less than one hour south of Lisbon, is the ...

EMPTIES Wins Top Prize At Festroia

 Monday, June 16------EMPTIES, the ironic comedy by Czech director Jan Sverak, has won the Gold Dolphin, the top award at the 24th edition of Festroia in Portugal. The film, a comic love story about a man facing old age, is the third in a trilogy that includes the director’s previous films ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and the Oscar winning KOLYA. The film has previously won the Czech Lion (the local Oscar) for Best Director and Audience Prize, as well as the Audience Award at last year’s Karlovy Vary ...

Prix UIP Shorts Shown At Festroia

Saturday, June 14------A very distinctive program here at Festroia is the presentation of Prix UIP, a European short film contest, sponsored by distributor United International Pictures and the European Film Academy.The short films are screeend at fourteen European film festivals, including events in Ghent, Valladolid, Ángers, Rotterdam, Berlin, Tampere, Krakow, Grimstad, Vila Do Conde, Sarajevo, Edinburgh, Venice, Drama and Cork. This year, Festroia was added to the European tour.The overall...

Hommage To Spanish Actress Assumpta Serna

Saturday, June 14-------This evening, as part of the official Awards Ceremony of the 24th edition of Festroia, the Festival will honor the career achievement of Spanish actress Assumpta Serna with a Gold Dolphin award. The talented actress has won more than 20 Best Actress prizes and has acted in more than 60 films in six languages: Spanish, Catalan, Portugese, Italian, French and English. Born in 1957, she has acted in theater and fiilms in over 20 countries. She is a board member of the Europ...

Director´s Statement: Marius Holst

Saturday, June 14-----Marius Holst is a Norwegian filmmaker who was born in 1965 in Oslo and trained at the London International Film School. He became internationally known for his feature film CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE, which won the Blue Angel Award at the 1995 Berlin Film Festival. After spending time directing big budget commercials, he returned in 2001 to the world of feature filmmaking with the film DRAGONFLY. His third film MIRUSH, an intense family drama about a young boy from Koso...

The Other American Cinema

 Friday, June 13-------American Independent cinema occupied a very specific niche in the American media landscape. I am talking here about true American Independent films.....not "independent spirit" projects that receive most of their monies from divisions of the major studios. This is more classic indie.....a filmmaker and a camera and a dream.FESTROIA, which enters its final weekend, has been a hospitable home to American Independent films and filmmakers. For the past ten years, th...

Film In Focus: WORLDS APART

Thursday, June 12------One of the strong contenders for the Festroia Golden Dolphin grand prize is the competition film WORLDS APART from Danish director Niels Arden Oplev. The film, which is based on a true story, is a compelling story of a young teenage girl, whose family are committed Jehova´s Witnesses, who falls in love with a "non-believer".Young actress Rosaline Mynster gives a passionate performance as Sara, a budding teenager who must fight the temptations of sex and partying...

Exploring Multiculturalism At Festroia

 Thursday, June 12-------This year, Festroia has devoted a special screening section to films that explore the difficulties and opportunities of multiculturalism. Dubbed "Migrations And Multiculturality", the series highlights 3 feature films and a program of shorts.In Spanish director Gerardo Olivares´THE GREAT MATCH, the director focuses on a family of Mongolian nomads and a group of Indians in the Amazon, bought of which live far outside the technological saturation of the West. W...

Director´s Statement: Damien Odoul

Wedneday, June 11-----French director Damien Odoul´s film THE STORY OF RICHARD O is included in a special showcase at the Festroia called Seduction Cinema. The director began his career as an actor and alternates between acting and directing. His 2001 film SPECIAL BREATH won a Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI International Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival."This is not a movie about seduction, nor eroticism. It is just a film about sex, burlesque and poetry. It is very rare to s...

The Poles Take Portugal

 Wednesday, June 11-------Although they are both part of the European continent, Poland seems as far away from Portugal as one can imagine. I’ve now been to both places, and while it is a cliché and an exaggeration that Poland is always rather cloudy, gloomy and weighed down by its difficult history, the Polish sensibility (and humor) are decidedly dark. It is intriguing to have that sober mood contrast with the lightness and sparkle of Portugal in early June, but that is exactly the contras...

Thinking About Portugese Cinema On Portugal Day

 Tuesday, June 10--------One of the charms of Festroia is that it always falls in the period when Portugal celebrates Portugal Day, the national day of independence. Today is the holiday, which is characterized by colorful parades and a day at the beach. It also is an opportunity for local audiences and visiting filmmakers and professionals to sample the finest Portugese films of the past year.Festroia has a commitment to showcasing this work in a special section of Portugese Cinema of the Year...

Film In Focus: THIEVES

Tuesday, June 10------One of the more arresting posters on display during Festroia is of an impossibly handsome young man who plays the lead in the Spanish film THIEVES (LADRONES). The film, directed by Jaime Marques, had its world premiere at the Malaga Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award. It has been a hit on the Festival circuit, winning a C.I.C.A.Ê. Award at the Locarno International Film Festival.The follows the story of Alex, who has spent his childhood in an orphanage and ...

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Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

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