The film “1618”, directed by Luis Ismael, received the Best Portuguese Film Award at the 20th BragaCine Festival - Braga International Independent Film Festival, which took place on December 12th and 13th. The prize was awarded unanimously by the jury, composed of Celestino Magalhães and Rui Nunes and chaired by Anxo Santomil.
“I feel privileged to have managed to make such an extensive, dense and impactful film, and I believe that the award demonstrates that Portuguese cinema is not limited to just and only the national geography. It is important that they see this as an alert that there are stories that happened in Portugal and that are of interest to the world stage”, confides Ismael.
According to Artur Barros Moreira, director of BragaCine, “1618” competed with about 30 films. “The film is a masterpiece of Portuguese cinema. It is an epic film, it is a historical film, it is a film that is talking about the Inquisition in Portugal, the persecution of the Jews, which is almost inconceivable nowadays, but which unfortunately still exists”, says Barros Moreira.
This is the third feature film produced by the Jewish Community of Oporto in partnership with the Diocese of Porto. The film, which was shown in cinemas in Portugal in the second half of this year, portrays a true story: the visit of the Inquisition to the city of Porto in 1618 and the resistance of the Porto authorities to the Holy Office. “The film brought new knowledge to the Portuguese who were unaware of this part of their history”, explains Ismael.
Dara Jeffries, vice-president of the Jewish Community of Oporto and responsible for distributing the film, says that “1618” has already won more than 60 international awards, becoming the most awarded Portuguese film ever. “The film tells a story that is not even known by the Portuguese and, while having this local perspective, it is extremely universal”, says Jeffries.