The film "Listen", by Ana Rocha de Sousa, is Portugal's candidate for an Oscar nomination, in the category of Best International Film ', announced today the Portuguese Academy of Cinema.
"Listen" was the most voted among members of the academy, in a choice between four Portuguese films proposed for discussion: "Listen", by Ana Rocha de Sousa, "Mosquito", by João Nuno Pinto, "Patrick", by Gonçalo Waddington, and "Vitalina Varela", by Pedro Costa.
In a statement, the president of the Portuguese Cinema Academy, Paulo Trancoso, recalls that the film won several awards in Venice, "one of the most important film festivals in the world", and "quickly became the most watched Portuguese film of the year, despite of the critical moment "that the country is going through, because of the covid-19.
These two conditions reveal "a vote of hope in the talent of Portuguese filmmakers, who are increasingly recognized abroad and cherished by the national audience," said Paulo Trancoso.
"Listen" is the first fictional feature film by Ana Rocha de Sousa, a family drama inspired by a true story, about a Portuguese family emigrated in London, to whom custody of the children is removed, on suspicion of mistreatment. The narrative follows the family's efforts to prove to British social and judicial services that the suspicions are unfounded.
With Luso-British co-production, the film was shot in the vicinity of London with Portuguese and English cast, headed by Lúcia Moniz, Ruben Garcia and Sophia Myles.
The film won six awards at the Venice Film Festival, including the "Lion of the Future", for a first work, and the special jury award from the Horizons competition.
“Listen” premiered in Portuguese cinemas on October 21, having since added about 29,300 spectators.
If the United States Film Academy hinders the fact that the film is spoken in English, Paulo Trancoso explained to the Lusa agency today that it is possible to choose another candidate.
"Hopefully there will be no obstacles, only a specific committee will analyze the films. But we could not force the film to be a candidate. The film has English language, Portuguese language, sign language, the language context is adequate, it is a easily identifiable story that is about a Portuguese community ", Paulo Trancoso told the Lusa agency.
The 93rd edition of the Oscars, North American cinema awards, is scheduled for April 25, 2021, in Los Angeles, in the United States. Oscar nominations will be announced in March.
The ceremony was initially scheduled for late February, but was postponed to April, in a context of the covid-19 pandemic that affected the film industry worldwide and in virtually all areas, from production to distribution and exhibition.