Portuguese – Deadline

Portuguese filmmaker Carlos Conceição’s Angolan War of Independence drama Tommy Guns has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film at the 75th Locarno Film Festival, running August 3 to 13.

The feature explores the war through the eyes of two youngsters – a local girl and a Portuguese soldier – who are caught up in the conflict.

Under the award, the film will receive the support of the Europa Cinemas Network – representing more than 1,200 theatres in Europe and other territories – with additional promotion and incentives for exhibitors to extend the film’s run on screen.

“Carlos Conceição’s Tommy Guns was an absolutely unanimous choice for us as winner of this year’s Europa Cinemas Label here in Locarno,” said the jury. “We have decided to award this very personal and original film with a plot twist that took us completely by surprise, making us reconsider the whole story until that point through a new perspective.

“The movie is referring to the European colonial past, and explores issues of mental harm inflicted upon young soldiers, but it touches on human conflict in a universal way by blending different genres. This feature casts a powerful and mesmerising spell on us due to its singular and astonishing aesthetics, especially the gorgeous cinematography and the clever use of off-screen sounds.”

The prize comes hot on the heels of news that Paris-based sales company Wide Management signed international sales rights on the film during Locarno.

The feature is produced by Terratreme Filmes (Portugal) in co-production with Virginie Films (France) and Mirabilis (Portugal).

The Europa Cinemas Label Jury of Locarno comprised Marta Fernandes (Cinema Ideal, Lisbon, Portugal), Jean-François Lamarche (Cinéma du Parc, Montréal, Canada), Víctor Paz (DUPLEX Cinema, Ferrol, Spain) and Katarzyna Pryc (Rialto, Katowice, Poland).

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