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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Portugal

Bruno Gascon offers an initial glimpse of Sombra

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- The Caracol Studios production stars Ana Moreira and is set to premiere in Portugal on 22 October

Bruno Gascon offers an initial glimpse of Sombra
Sombra by Bruno Gascon

Sombra, Bruno Gascon’s second feature, tells the story of Isabel (Ana Moreira), who lost her 11-year-old son, Pedro, in the 1990s. This brief description will most likely resonate with the Portuguese audience, and that is no coincidence. This film, a tribute to all of the mums who have lost their children, is based on real events and conversations that Gascon had with a number of mothers who have been through it themselves, including Filomena Teixeira, the mother of Rui Pedro, an 11-year-old who disappeared in 1998. This well-known missing-person case has been in the spotlight in the Portuguese media since day one (and is still mentioned to this day). The director states that he was very young when the case first came out. “But I remember seeing her on television and seeing pure love in her eyes when she was talking about him, and despite the fact that more than 20 years have gone by, the same love remains in her eyes.” He says that meeting her helped him and Ana Moreira to create and develop Isabel, the main character.

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The film follows Isabel’s life and struggles after the disappearance of her son, set during four different years: 1998, 2004, 2011 and 2013. In this way, Gascon attempts to explore the following questions: what is it that compels her to keep fighting year after year? And what meaning does she find in this existence? It will be a portrayal of despair and grief, but also of love and hope, in what could possibly be Gascon’s most personal project to date, as “it is a film inspired by my mother, and the reason I decided to study cinema in Amsterdam was precisely the death of my mother”. The portrait will tie in with what the director has learned through his research, which showed him that “after all, a mother never stops loving the child she carried. In my film, the same happens, and Isabel is the only character that lives in the shadow in a constant search for the thing that can lead her to the light: finding her son.”

After his debut feature, Carga [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, 2018’s fifth-most-viewed national film (with 25,819 admissions and grossing €55,181.44 at the box office), which already had a strong cast (Sara Sampaio, Michalina Olszanska and Rita Blanco, to name but a few), Sombra also presents a solid, well-known cast for Portuguese audiences: alongside Moreira, the movie features Miguel Borges, Vítor Norte, Tomás Alves, Joana Ribeiro, Sara Sampaio, Ana Cristina Oliveira, Lúcia Moniz, Raimundo Cosme, Oksana Tkach, Ana Bustorff, Miguel Monteiro, Sara Norte, João Cabral and Kim Grygierzec, amongst others.

Sombra is in post-production and has now released its first teaser (click here). Shot in Viana do Castelo, the film boasts the support of the Municipality of Viana do Castelo, the Viana Film Commission, RTP, the ICA, Pic Portugal and APCD (the Portuguese Association for Missing Children). A Caracol Studios production, Sombra will be distributed in Portugal by NOS Audiovisuais, which plans to release it on 22 October, while WIDE is handling its international sales.

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