Portuguese American Journal

“Mysteries of Lisbon” awarded Best Foreign Film by Toronto and London critics

The Toronto Film Critics Association, Canada’s largest association of film critics, awarded director Raul Ruiz’s masterpiece “Mysteries of Lisbon,” as Best Foreign Film for 2011 alongside Terrence Malik’s “Tree of Life” awarded for Best Director and Best Film.

Currently chaired by film critic Brian Johnson of the prestigious magazine “Maclean,” the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards are regarded as an important predictor for the Golden Globes and the Oscars season.

“Mysteries of Lisbon” is competing for the Best Foreign Film Award at the Academy Awards to be held February 26, in Los Angeles, California. Recently “Mysteries of Lisbon” ranked 5th in the “Village Voice” poll among the best films of 2011.

“Mysteries of Lisbon” was also awarded Best Foreign Film of 2011 by the London Critics Circle. The awards ceremony will take place January 19.

Produced by Portuguese film producer Paulo Branco, “Mysteries of Lisbon” was the winner in the United States of the 2011 Satellite Award for Best Foreign Film by the International Press Academy (IPA) alongside “The Descendants” winner of the Best Motion Picture and Adapted Screenplay Awards.

The IPA also distinguished “Mystery of Lisbon” with the Best Art Direction and Production Design awards alongside “Water for Elephants” and “The Artist” and the Best Costume Designs award alongside “Jane Eyre,” “Faust” and “The Artist.”

At the IPA awards ceremony, held Monday,  Chile-born director Raul Ruiz was distinguished posthumously with the IPA Special Award for his lifelong film directing career. Raul Ruiz, who died on August 19, 2011, shares the honor with Walt Disney (1940), Jean-Luc Godard (1994) and Jacques Demy (2001) among others.

“Mysteries of Lisbon” is an epic drama set in Portugal around the turn of the 20th century, spanning across Europe (Portugal, France, Italy) and ending in Brazil. Originally adapted for a TV series, from a novel by Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890), it was later re-adapted for the big screen.

With cinematography by André Szankowski and screenplay by Carlos Saboga , “Mysteriesof Lisbon” was also the winner of the Louis-Delluc Prize 2010, Best French Film Award; the winner of the 2010 Silver Shell Best Director at the San Sebastián International Film Festival; and the winner of the São Paulo International Film Festival Critic’s Award.

Other distinctions include, official list of selected features by the 2010 New York Film Festival and the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival; Viennale International Film Festival, Official Selection 
21st October – 3rd November 2010; London Film Festival Official Selection
13th – 28th October 2010; and Torino Film Festival Official Selection 26th November – 4th December 2010.

The film has a stellar Portuguese and French cast. The Portuguese cast incudes Adriano Luz,Ricardo Pereira, Afonso Pimentel and Maria João Bastos. The French cast includes Clotilde Hesmé, Lea Seydoux and Melvil Poupaud.

In Portugal, Raul Ruiz’ masterpiece won three awards at the Portuguese Golden Globes’ 16th edition, including the Best Film prize. Maria João Bastos conquered the Best Actress’ Award and Adriano Luz won the Best Actor category.

“Mysteries of Lisbon”  has premiered in the United States in August 2011 and has been distributed nationwide by Music Box Films. For locations and playdates check Music Box Films here >>

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