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Portuguese premiere of "Arabian Nights" by Miguel Gomes at Curtas Vila do Conde

28 May 2015
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“Arabian Nights”, a film by Miguel Gomes, will open the 23rd edition of Curtas Vila do Conde – International Film Festival. The three-volume film was applauded in its world premiere at Cannes Festival and will have its Portuguese premiere at Vila do Conde.


Curtas Vila do Conde – International Film Festival starts on July 4th with the long-awaited “Arabian Nights”, Miguel Gomes' new film, in a Portuguese premiere. The feature is a fresco on contemporary Portugal and on the contradictions caused by the economic crisis, using an epic structure that adapts Scheherazade’s classic history in three independent volumes: “The Restless One”, “The Desolate One” and “The Enchanted One”, in a combined six-hour long feature.


The first part, “The Restless One”, “shows the unsettling curses that overcome a country in crisis, inhabited by rich and poor, powerful and powerless, workers and unemployed, thieves and honest men.” On volume two, “Scheherazade tells how desolation invaded men” and, in the last part, “The Enchanted One”, the narrator doubts she can still tell stories that might please the king.


The “Arabian Nights” cast has important names of Portuguese cinema, such as Crista Alfaiate, Luíza Cruz, Américo Silva, Adriano Luz, Gonçalo Waddington, Joana de Verona, Teresa Madruga, João Pedro Bénard, Carloto Cotta and Rogério Samora.


The work made its world premiere at Cannes Director’s Fortnight and the international press welcomed it with great enthusiasm. The film made the front page of “Libération”, the French newspaper, and was described as “epic”. The “Le Monde” has considered the feature as “a fantastic epopee, a love song to the defeated of History, as are the Portuguese inside a Europe in crisis.”  


In a poll usually held during Cannes Festival, the critics considered “Arabian Nights” as the best film in the 2015 edition of the biggest film festival in the world.


The feature is a coproduction between Portugal, Germany, Switzerlandand and France and will premiere in Portuguese theatres in august/september. Produced by Luís Urbano and Sandro Aguilar through O Som e a Fúria, “Arabian Nights” is, in recent years, one of the most ambitious projects in Portuguese cinema.

Miguel Gomes is one of the main personalities in Curtas Vila do Conde’s history. The Festival screened most of the filmmaker’s works. His first short film, “Meanwhile” was screened at the 7th Festival (1999) where it won the Best Director and Best Cinematography awards. Later, in 2002, Miguel Gomes received an Honourable Mention at Vila do Conde for his short film “31”, and in 2006, he won the National Competition with “Canticle of all Creatures”. Curtas Vila do Conde also screened “A Christmas’ Inventory”, “Kalkitos” (a film commissioned by the Festival), “Our Beloved Month of August” and, in 2014, “Pre-Evolution Soccer’s One Minute Dance After a Golden Goal in The Master League”.


Born in Lisbon, in 1972, Miguel Gomes studied Cinema and worked as a film critic for Portuguese press until 2000. He belongs, along with other Portuguese directors, to the entitled “Geração Curtas”, an important piece of contemporary Portuguese cinema’s history at the turn of the century. It opened the doors to a new generation of very young filmmakers that have become important names of the Portuguese cinema nowadays. Miguel Gomes showed his iconoclasm since an early point, reinventing himself in every film and forging a method of collective work, aware to the unpredictability of filming. That method was refined and is one of “Arabian Nights” most visible features.


Curtas Vila do Conde is supported by Vila do Conde City Council, Secretário de Estado da Cultura, Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual, Creative Europe - Media Programme and other partners.

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