António-Pedro Vasconcelos

Homage in Fantasporto 2012


A director who was able to attract over 1 million viewers to the cinemas to see Portuguese films, definitely deserves a tribute at Fantasporto 2012. António-Pedro Vasconcelos is the only director who can boast such a feat and the International Film Festival of Porto has chosen him as the Portuguese personality to be highlighted in its 32nd edition. Because he is a film buff and because his films always feature beautiful actresses, nothing could fit him better than to paraphrase a Truffaut’s film title: António-Pedro Vasconcelos is “the man who loves women".


António-Pedro Vasconcelos was born in Leiria in 1939. This Knight of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator first wanted to be a lawyer, but it was his friendship with some men of cinema such as João César Monteiro and Alberto Seixas Santos that made his interest tilt towards the Seventh Art.
He started as a film critic in the late 1950’s, and became, the chief editor of the magazine "Cinéfilo" (1973) and responsible for the TV program "Cine-Clube" on RTP 2 channel (1976).

In 1968 he made ​​his first films, documentaries such asTapestry Exhibition” (1968) andFernando Lopes-Graça” (1971), among others.
He is the co-founder of the Portuguese Film Center (IPC) in 1970, sharing responsibility for the revitalization the Portuguese cinema. He released his first feature film - "Perdido por Cem” (1973), a movie heavily influenced by the French "Nouvelle Vague".
After the April Revolution, he directs the documentary "Adeus, até o meu regresso" (1974) for the national television RTP, on the Portuguese Colonial War generation.

Working in television as a content programmer, he directs "Oxalá" (1981) and soon after one of the great successes of his career, " O Lugar do Morto" (1984), based on a story by Mario Zambujal, the film that made the Portuguese actress Ana Zannati a true sex symbol.
The economic difficulties experienced in the Portuguese society in the 80’s hampered the revival of cinema. It was only in 1992 that he returned to his work as a director with a television series for RTP  “Aqui d’El-Rei!”  about the presence of the Portuguese army in Mozambique in the late 19th century.

In 1999 António-Pedro Vasconcelos directs another blockbuster - "Jaime", that is followed by "The Immortals" (2003), "Call Girl" (2007) - and "Beauty and the Paparazzo" (2010), again with the Portuguese actress and model Soraia Chaves.
Considered by critics as the most American of the Portuguese filmmakers, António-Pedro Vasconcelos accepts with "fair play" that label. A huge fan of Sport Lisboa Benfica, Antonio-Pedro Vasconcelos prepares a selection of his films and comes up to Porto to display a part of his career and to be distinguished as a great filmmaker which, in fact, he is.