“Grand Tour” honors Portuguese Miguel Gomes as best director at the Cannes Film Festival

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Portuguese director Miguel Gomes won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in France for his film “Grand Tour”, it was announced today at the closing ceremony.

This is the first time Miguel Gomes has been honored in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Miguel Gomes received the award from German filmmaker Wim Wenders and in a short speech he thanked Portuguese cinema, emphasizing how rare it is to have Portuguese films in the official competition, and extended his thanks to “great filmmakers” like Manoel de Oliveira, who inspired him to make films.

Eighteen years ago, in 2006, Pedro Costa’s “Juventude em Marcha” was in the feature film competition.

The story of “Grand Tour” follows an early 20th century romance with Edward (Gonçalo Waddington), a civil servant in the British Empire who runs away from his fiancée Molly (Crista Alfaiate) on the day she arrives for the wedding.

“Contemplating the emptiness of his existence, the cowardly Edward wonders what happened to Molly… Challenged by Edward’s impulse and determined to marry him, Molly follows the trail of her fiancé on the run through this Asian ‘Grand Tour'”, says the synopsis.

This week, at a press conference in Cannes, Miguel Gomes, 52, explained that “Grand Tour” is a movie “about the determination of women and the cowardice of men” and is also based on a travel book, “A Gentleman in Asia”, by Sommerset Maugham.

In preparation for this film, even before the covid-19 pandemic, Miguel Gomes made a travel archive through Asia – for example, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, Thailand, Japan – to trace the characters’ paths, collecting contemporary images and sounds for a 1918 period feature film.

Only after this tour did Miguel Gomes shoot the scenes with the actors in a studio in Rome. The script was co-written by the filmmaker with Mariana Ricardo, Telmo Churro and Maureen Fazendeiro.

“What’s interesting about cinema is that you can travel to an alternative world, a fictional world that contains all times; the memories of the past, the current time in which we live, the present,” said Miguel Gomes at the same press conference.

“Grand Tour” was produced by Uma Pedra no Sapato, by Filipa Reis, in co-production with Italy, France, Germany, China and Japan.

Miguel Gomes had already been to Cannes for the Filmmakers’ Fortnight, where he presented “That Dear Month of August” (2008), “A Thousand and One Nights” (2015) and “The Otsoga Diaries” (2021), co-directed with Maureen Fazendeiro.

Miguel Gomes has won several awards at international festivals, including the critics’ prize at the Berlin Festival for “Tabu” (2012), the best director award (shared with Maureen Fazendeiro) at the Mar del Plata Festival (Argentina) for “Diários de otsoga” (2021) and the special jury prize at Guadalajara (Mexico) for “Aquele querido mês de agosto” (2009).

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival began on the 14th and ends today.

Iris Lavan
Iris Lavan
With a background as a consultant in the medical industry, Iris Lavan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Portugal Pulse. Iris also runs a company in Tel Aviv offering marketing, business development, content creation and public relations services. She holds a degree in economics and management, giving her a solid grounding in business strategy and financial planning. Iris' commitment to Portugal Pulse is reflected not only in her consulting career, but also in her impact on the Portugale media landscape in Israel. She was an interviewer for Hadshot Portugal חדשות פורטוגל, a media outlet that broadcasts news about Portugal in Hebrew, where she provided valuable information on current affairs, healthcare and the economy. Since July 2023, Iris has also been part of the Portugal Pulse team.

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