Vitalina Varela

dir. Pedro Costa

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A film of deeply concentrated beauty, acclaimed filmmaker Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela stars nonprofessional actor Vitalina Varela in an extraordinary performance based on her own life. Vitalina plays a Cape Verdean woman who has travelled to Lisbon to reunite with her husband, after two decades of separation, only to arrive mere days after his funeral. Alone in a strange forbidding land, she perseveres and begins to establish a new life. Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film and Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival, as well as an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival, Vitalina Varela is a film of shadow and whisper, a profoundly moving and visually ravishing masterpiece.

Director / Pedro Costa Screenplay / Pedro Costa, Vitalina Varela Prodcer: Abel Ribeiro Chaves Cinematography / Leonardo Simões Edting / João Dias, Vítor Carvalho Producing Company / Optec, Sociedade Óptica Técnica Sound / Hugo Leitão, João Gazua Cast / Vitalina Varela, Ventura, Manuel Tavares Almeida, Francisco Brito, Imídio Monteiro, Marina Alves Domingues

Ficción, 124 min.

Pedro Costa

Lisbon, 1959. He. Director. He studied at the Theather School in Lisbon. Among his mover are included O Sangre (1989), Casa de Lava (1994), Osso (1997), and Juventude em Marcha (2006), which awarded him the culture of France award at Cannes (2009). Vitalina Varela is his latest movie.


  • 2019 — Vitalina Varela
  • 2014 — Cavalo Dinheiro
  • 2012 — Centro Histórico (segmento "Sweet Exorcism")
  • 2010 — O nosso Homem (Cortometraje)
  • 2009 — Change Nothing
  • 2007 — I Memories (segmento "The Rabbit Hunters")
  • 2007 — State of the World (segmento "Tarrafal")
  • 2006 — Colossal Youth
  • 2005 — Ne change rien (Cortometraje)
  • 2003 — The End of a Love Affair (Cortometraje)
  • 2001 — 6 Bagatelas
  • 2001 — Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?
  • 2001 — Cinéma, de notre temps  (Serie TV) (1 episodio) Danièle Huillet/Jean-Marie Straub: Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (2001)
  • 2000 — In Vanda's Room
  • 1997 — Ossos
  • 1994 — Down to Earth
  • 1989 — Blood
  • 1984 — É Tudo Invenção Nossa (Short)

Festivales y Premios

  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Locarno
    Leopardo de Oro a Mejor Película
    Leopardo de Plata a Mejor Actriz;
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata
    Mejor Director
    Mejor Actor
    Mejor Fotografìa;
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Chicago
    Premio Silver Hugo;
  • 2019 IFFR.
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Róterdam;
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Salónica; TIFF.
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Toronto;
  • 2019 Festival de Cine de Nueva York;
  • 2019 BFI.
  • 2019 Festival de Cine de Londres;
  • 2019 Sundance Film Festival;
  • 2019 FICX.
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijón
    Mejor Película
    Mejor Fotografía;
  • 2019 Festival Caminos de Cine Portugués
    Mejor Actriz
    Mejor Fotografía;
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de La Roche-sur-Yon;
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Vancouver;
  • 2019 Festival Internacional de Cine de Ljubljana


Costa’s fifth journey into the shantytown Fontainhas outside of Lisbon, once again showcases Costa’s masterful ability to mine cinematic poetry from a unique environment and the mournful figures who wander through its murky depths.”
– Eric Kohn: Indiwire

“Prodigal “dense” from Pedro Costa (…) One of the most corageous, obsessive and groundbreaking  films in contemporary history (…) A cinematic miracle, with the certainty of light.”
– Luis Martínez: Diario El Mundo

“A dark and intransigent ode (…) Vitalina tells her story without considering the expectations of those who hear (or see her) and establishes her own laws.” 
– Giorgia del Don: Cineuropa

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