The Portuguese film nominee for the Oscars is on RTP. shown

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The Portuguese film nominee for the Oscars is on RTP. shown

“Vitalina Varela” was the national candidate for the statuettes in 2020. It will debut on January 15th on Portuguese television on RTP2.

It hit national cinemas in 2019, but didn’t make its international debut until the following year. “Vitalina Varela”, a film by Pedro Costa, was successful on both routes and even made it into the list of the 50 best of the year.

The list compiled by “Indiewire” after consultation with 230 critics placed the national production in 18th place, ahead of works like “Tenet” by Christopher Nolan. And of course it was the only Portuguese film on the lot.

The good news came at the end of 2020. The rejection of “Listen” by Ana Rocha, as it is mostly spoken in English, opened the doors for “Vitalina Varela” in the race for the nomination as best foreign language film. The film became the official election for the Portuguese candidacy, despite failing to overcome competition in the category that would crown Danish candidate Mark Vinterberg’s “Another Round”.

The story is now on Portuguese television, almost three years after its debut. “Vitalina Varela” will be broadcast on January 15th at 11:30 pm on RTP2. It tells the story of a Cape Verdean woman who travels to Lisbon to visit her husband, whom she has not seen for forty years. When she arrives, she receives dramatic news: her husband died three days ago. Nonetheless, the figure follows in the footsteps of her husband and searches for his traces in the Fontaínhas district, where he encounters the secrets and details of an illegal life.

The film was awarded the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival and its protagonist is precisely Vitalina Varela, who works with Manuel Tavares Almeida, Francisco Brito, Imídio Monteiro and Marina Alves Domingues. The film is also available on the “HBO Portugal” streaming platform.

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