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Vitalina Varela – Pedro Costa

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #39. Vitalina Varela – Pedro Costa

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #39. Vitalina Varela – Pedro Costa

Vitalina Varela

Portuguese director returns to Fontainhas for his seventh feature, Vitalina Varela (which has been previously listed as the title Daughters of Fire). Starring the actress for which the film is named, she is joined by two other actresses from Horse Money (2014), Costa’s last feature, including Ventura and Isabel Cordoso (who was also in his 2006 film Colossal Youth). The project also influenced a recent art installation from Costa. Known for filming with non-professionals who are usually playing variations of themselves, while shooting on a micro budget in digital, Costa is Portugal’s premiere art-house auteur, ever since his 1989 debut Blood. His acclaimed Fontainhas trilogy includes 1997’s Ossos, which competed in Venice, 2000’s In Vanda’s Room, which competed in Locarno, and 2006’s Colossal Youth, which competed in Cannes. He has appeared in the Directors’ Fortnight with the omnibus State of the World (2007) and the documentary Change Nothing. But Locarno has been Costa’s most lucrative platform, winning Special Mention for In Vanda’s Room, a Special Jury Prize in 2007 for the omnibus Memories, and then Best Director in 2014 for Horse Money.

Gist: Vitalina Varela, a 55-year-old Cape Verdean arrives in Portugal just three days after her husband’s funeral, having waited 25 years to obtain a plane ticket.

Release Date/Prediction: Pictures from the production appeared in early 2018, which led many to assume Costa would return to Locarno last summer. As Costa has no history with Berlin a potential return to Directors’ Fortnight could be possible, or Locarno 2019.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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