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The 26th edition of FESTROIA: TROIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held from June 4 to 13 in the beautiful coastal resort town of Setubal, Portugal. The Festival, the country's oldest and most prestigious, is known as the "Cannes of Portugal" and showcases international talents from around the world, with competition sections, special events and a program  of new works from emerging North American independent filmmakers from the U.S.A.


Festival Opening With A Spanish Twist

Friday, June 1-------The 23rd edition of FESTROIA: Festival Internacional de Cinema, Portugal's oldest and most prestigious event, opens this evening with back-to-back screenings of new films from Spain. The honor of a double Opening Night attraction from Portugal's neighbor (and frequent rival) is the Tribute To Spanish Cinema that is the centerpiece of this year's event. Over 20 Spanish films will be screened....most in the special Hommage section, but others interspersed in the main program. The program features the works of both well known masters (Carlos Saura, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Almenabar) and emerging auteurs (Augustin Diaz Yanes, Daniel Sanchez Arevalo, Antonio Chavarrias) will be showing here this week. Opening the Festival are the films INVISIBLES, produced by Spanish actor Javier Bardem for the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, and ALATRISTE, a historical epic which features Viggo Mortensen in the lead role.  

INVISIBLES (Invisiveis) brings together five of the world's best directors, including Wim Wenders, Isabel Coixet, Fernando de Aranoa, Mariano Barroso and Javier Corcuera, to tell five unique stories of people who are invisible in the eyes of the world, but reflect the potential of human beings to survive even the most harsh of situations and environments. Spanish director Isabel Coixet tells the tale of a young Bolivian woman who works in Barcelona and sends money to her family which is devastated by "la chancha", a disease that affects more than 18 million people around the world living in extreme poverty. Fernando de Aranoa shows the drama of thousands of Uganda children who must walk miles in search of protection from soldiers who indiscriminately kidnap them for armed service. Mariano Barrosso reveals how pharmaceutical companies work one way in Europe, and another in Africa. Javier Corcuera follows a group of Colombian farmers who have lost their lands to paramilitary forces. Wim Wenders gives voice to several women from the Congo who were mass raped during the civil war. The documentary, while often difficult to watch at times, brings us face to face with the challenges of survival that these "invisibles" face every day.

For a complete change of pace, the historical epic ALATRISTE, directed by Augustin Diaz Yanes, is set in medieval Spain, with all its opulence and colorful characters. Viggo Mortensen (of LORD OF THE RINGS fame) stars as Captain Alatriste, a fictional character based on the international book series by Arturo Perez-Reverte, that brings the glory and violence of imperial Spain to vivid life. The contrast between the opulence luxury of the royals and their court and the misery and vulnerability of the common people sets off an explosion of violence, corruption and greed, all witnessed by the proud soldier Diego Alatriste, who tries to live by his own moral code. The film, the most expensive ever produced in Spain, is filled with love, passion, violence, betrayals with gorgeous period costumes and opulent set pieces that dazzle the eye. This is moviemaking in the grand tradition of Hollywood, with a continental flair that is a tasty tapas indeed.

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Online Dailies Editor


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About Festroia

Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

United States

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