Portuguese American Journal

Portuguese film competing for 2012 Oscar nomination

A documentary film about the life of José Saramago, the 1998 Nobel Prize of Literature, and his lifelong companion Pilar del Rio, will represent Portugal at the 2012 Oscars in Hollywood.

A co-production of Fernando Meireles (Brazil) and Pedro Almodóvar (Spain), the documentary titled “José e Pilar ” will compete for the Best Foreign Film nomination.

Launched in Portugal, Spain and Brazil, the documentary is scheduled to be distributed in April, in the United States, by Ousider Pictures.

The nominations for the 2012 Oscars will be known in January 24, 2012. The 86th Academy Awards Oscars ceremony will be held in February 26, in Los Angeles, California.

In 2010 Portuguese producer João Pedro Rodrigues competed at the Oscars for the Best Foreign Film nomination with “Morrer como um Homem” (To Die Like a Man). The nomination went to El Secreto de Sus Ojos by Argentinean film director Juan José Campanella.

José Saramago (1922-2010) was born in the Ribajeto region, mainland Portugal, to a family of farm laborers. He achieved international recognition with his fourth novel Memorial do Convento after it appeared in 1988, in translation, as Baltasar and Blimunda, by Giovanni Pontiero.

The Nobel committee praised his “parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony,” and his “modern skepticism” about official truths.

José Saramago wrote 29 books. His last three books, Small Memories, The Elephant’s Journey and Caim were published posthumously. More than 2 million of his books were sold in Portugal alone and many more worldwide where his work has been translated in 25 languages.

A member of the Portuguese Communist Party, Saramago was also an atheist and self-described pessimist. At the time of his death, Saramago and his Spanish wife Pilar del Rio, a journalist and translator, lived on Lanzarote island, in the Spanish Canaries.

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