Portuguese co-production “O Marinheiro” honored at Marseille Film Festival

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The Portuguese co-production “O Marinheiro”, directed by Japanese director Yohei Yamakado, won today the Georges de Beauregard Award of the Marseille Film Festival, dedicated to documentaries, the jury announced.

“The Sailor,” Yamakado’s second feature film, is structured on the poem of the same name by Fernando Pessoa and was shot in Porto, the city where the director did an artist residency in 2019 and where he exhibited last year. With French-Portuguese co-production, “O Marinheiro” had its world premiere in Marseille.

In the framework of FidLab, the festival’s international co-production platform for films in pre-production, Salomé Lamas’ project “Pantheras”, about human rights issues in the Niger Delta, was awarded the Vidéo de Poche prize.

This award guarantees the Portuguese director support in the post-production phase, namely in the color grading work and in the creation of a ‘Digital Cinema Package’.

The Georges de Beauregard Award was created in honor of the French Nouvelle Vague producer, who worked with filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Agnés Varda, Jacques Démy and Jacques Rozier, and is the second most important award of the Marseille Festival.

The festival’s Grand Prix went to “Background” by Syrian filmmaker Khaled Abdulwahed, a refugee in Germany, who produced the film. The film establishes a parallel between the director and his father, when he lived in former East Germany as a scholarship holder in the 1960s.

Besides “O Marinheiro”, Portugal also had the co-production “O Fumo do Fogo”, by Ukrainian Daryna Mamaisur, in the short film competition.

A refugee in Portugal, Mamaisur documents learning the new language by crossing memories, in a reality divided with her country at war. The film is co-produced by Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, and Hungary and also had its world premiere in Marseille.

Today, in the DocAlliance extra-competition section, the festival screened “The Death of a City”, by Portuguese filmmaker João Rosas, a documentary about the demolition of an old typography shop in Bairro Alto to make way for luxury apartments, witnessing “the death of a certain Lisbon in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the exponential real estate and tourism growth”, as stated in the synopsis.

The Festival also included “The Daughters of Fire”, by Pedro Costa, in the program, which was screened alongside Jean-Luc Godard’s (1930-2022) last work, “Filme annonce du film qui n’existera jamais: ‘Drôles de guerres'”, a short film completed a few months before his death, as a fake advertisement for a fake documentary.

The magazine Cahiers du Cinema, after the premiere of this ‘short’ film in Cannes last May, wrote: “It moves us like the last whisper of a man about to depart. It is not sad, it is absolutely luminous. Simple and clear, like the last sketch of a genius.”

This edition of the Marseille Festival, which paid tribute to filmmaker Paul Vecchiali (1930-2023), closes tonight with the film “Once more”, by this French director.

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