Films shot in Portugal already arrive at Cannes Festival

Films shot in Portugal already arrive at Cannes Festival

After promotion campaigns in Bollywood and Hollywood, the government is now betting on the Cannes Film Festival to try to attract filming of international productions to Portugal. The scenario is already set. A team from the Ministry of Culture and the Secretariat of State for Tourism will be next Saturday at the French Riviera film festival, which has two productions filmed in Portugal. More than € 36 million has already been allocated by the film and audiovisual production incentive program.

“We will be at the Cannes Film Festival, where on May 18th we will have an event dedicated to Portugal where a presentation of our country will be made as a destination for filming and in which foreign producers will talk about their experience of filming in Portugal, using to the fundraising program, ”said Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism.

The promotion action at the well-known film festival comes at a time when the made in Portugal production has put two films on the Cannes Film Festival Official Selection. “There are two projects filmed in Portugal that used cash rebate: Albert Serra's Liberté and Ira Sachs's Franquie, with Isabelle Huppert in the lead role.” Two of the productions linked to the film or series production support program in Portugal , a way of also making known to the international public the country as a tourist destination and thereby boosting the number of visits to the country: only last year, Portugal received a new record of 12 762 532 foreign tourists. Until February, there were 2.605 million more visitors, up from 2.337 million registered in the first two months of last year.

Since October 2018, when it was created, the Tourism, Film and Audiovisual Support Fund has received 38 applications under the program to encourage film and audiovisual production. "At this moment, 26 applications have already been approved, with a total investment of 36.6 million euros in Portugal," says the Secretary of State for Tourism.

Support for a very comprehensive set of projects. “Not only in terms of formats (cinema, television series and telefilms) but also of the type of work done in Portugal (filming and post production) and especially of the markets reached, as they are intended to be distributed and disseminated in countries such as Germany, Italy, the United States, France or India, ”he describes.

Hellboy, blockbuster from Lionsgate Studios, done by Neil Marshall with David Harbor of Netflix's Stranger Things series, was done in Portugal, for example.

But not only. Bollywood, the mecca of the Indian film industry, has also chosen the country as the setting for filming the romantic comedy Manmadhudu 2. Also well-known Hollywood actors will star in films filmed in the domestic market. This is the case of Nicolas Cage, protagonist of Color out of Space (SpectreVision), or Harvey Keitel, who, with the Brazilian Sónia Braga, filmed a film about Fatima in the country. Already this month, he began shooting the German film Saint Louis, telling the story of the ship that in 1939 transported Jews around the world looking for a port to dock.

To attract more such projects, the government has been developing a set of promotion actions of the country as location for international productions. They promoted visits by producers of Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney and HBO, among other major North American studios, to the country to learn about future production scenarios.

The Ministry of Culture and the Secretary of State for Tourism were present, for example, in Cannes, Berlin, at the American Film Market (in Santa Monica), at Focus (one of the most important location events held in London).

“In all these markets we have developed outreach to foreign producers and media and also the promotion of networking moments with national producers,” describes Ana Mendes Godinho. But not only. “We were featured in a special about Destination Portugal in the American Film Market magazine Variety and we are now running new advertising and communication campaigns at major international events.”