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João Maia to shoot pop-idol biopic Variações


- The director’s feature debut will finally begin principal photography this summer, with Sérgio Praia starring as the iconic singer

João Maia to shoot pop-idol biopic Variações
Singer António Variações in the early 1980s

The life of singer António Variações, one of Portugal’s most inventive pop icons from the 1980s, is being adapted for the big screen by director João Maia. Principal photography is set to kick off in July and marks the end of a bumpy road that started over ten years ago and involved a legal battle between the director and a former producer attached to the project, Alexandre Valente (see the news).

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Now, Maia’s feature debut is being produced by Fernando Vendrel’s outfit, David & Golias, with support of €500,000 coming from Portugal’s film body, the ICA.

Actor Sérgio Praia plays the lead role, breathing life into the hairdresser and wannabe singer in the late 1970s/early 1980s before he became a star thanks to his extravagant look and unusual talent. Variações’ songs mixed an international pop style with Portuguese folk and fado, which turned him into a seminal influence on several musicians and artists. One of his famous hits, "Canção do Engate", was recently used in the final scene from João Pedro Rodrigues’ The Ornithologist [+see also:
film review
interview: João Pedro Rodrigues
film profile

Praia has been attached to the project, and to the role, for years now. He even played the singer in a hit monologue stage production, Variações de António, directed by theatre (and film) director Vicente Alves do Ó, in 2016. Other cast members include Filipe DuarteVictória Guerra and Lúcia Muniz.

Variações is due to open theatrically in 2019, 35 years after Variações’ untimely death.

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