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Based on Mia Couto's tale "The Day Mabata Bata Exploded", the film tells of Azarias, a young shepherd "who one day sees his best ox, Mabata Bata, explode" because of a land mine. [Image: Sapo Mag]
The film “Mabata Bata” by Mozambican director Sol de Carvalho has been singled out by the first edition of the António Loja Neves Awards, the Portuguese Federation of Cineclubes (FPC) announced yesterday. The award will be bestowed on September 18th.
“This is an award that aims to honour Portuguese-speaking African cinema and, posthumously, a great promoter of these cinematographies,” the FPC statement reads, referring to the director, critic and film-maker for whom the prize is named.
Co-produced by Promarte and Bando Apart, “Mabata Bata” is “a film that stands out for the sensitivity of its humanistic and sympathetic look and the timeliness of its theme, blending intelligently and delicately the African cultural tradition with the recent and still not healed wounds from the civil war in Mozambique,” the jury of actress Isabel Santos, director Luís Filipe Rocha and the president of the Portuguese Film Academy, Paulo Trancoso found.
Awarded in co-production with Medeia Films, the prize will be presented on September 18 at 9:30 pm at Espaço Nimas, in Lisbon, in the presence of Sol de Carvalho and producer Ricardo Freitas.
“This will be followed by the screening of the award-winning movie, ‘Mabata Bata’,” the organisation adds.
Based on Mia Couto’s tale “The Day Mabata Bata Exploded”, the film tells of Azarias, a young shepherd “who one day sees his best ox, Mabata Bata, explode” because of a land mine.
The incident is followed by the boy’s escape into the forest for fear of reprisal, while his grandmother and uncle try to persuade him to return home.
With photography by Jorge Quintela, “Mabata Bata” stars Emilio Bila, Wilton Boene and Medianeira Massingue.
Director João Luís Sol de Carvalho was born in Beira, Mozambique, in 1953, and grew up in Inhambane. He studied cinema at the Lisbon National Conservatory, and works as a journalist, editor, photographer and producer in his home country.
“Mabata Bata” was one of the six films shortlisted for the first António Loja Neves Award, which was created by the FCC to honour the movie director and Cineclub member.
“Arriaga”, by Welket Bungué (Guinea-Bissau), “The Train of Salt and Sugar “, by Licinio Azevedo (Mozambique), “Homestay”, by Lolo Arziki (Cape Verde), “O Canto do Ossobó” by Silas Tiny (Sao Tome) and Hamilton Trindade’s “Sonho Longínquo no Equador” (Sao Tome) were the other finalists.
The six films had been chosen by the jury from 50 applications submitted to the organisation, FCC President António Costa Valente said in April.
“Antonio Loja Neves held African cinema in particular esteem, and we thought a prize was therefore indispensable,” Costa Valente told Lusa news agency.
The biennial non-monetary award was created to “promote and reward cinematography produced in Portuguese-speaking African countries,” the regulations stipulate. Films that have participated in competitive activities or festivals organised by film clubs linked to the federation are eligible for shortlisting.
António Loja Neves, journalist, writer, movie director, programmer and film club member died in May 2018 at the age of 65.
He was at the founding of the Portuguese Federation of Cineclubs, of the Association for the Documentary (Apordoc) and Panorama Portuguese Documentary Festival; he co-organised the Cape Verdean International Film Encounters and curated Lusophone films in various countries, from Brazil to Mozambique.
He was also director of ‘Cinerama’ magazine, having also written for ‘CInema Portugues’ and the weekly ‘Africa’. He directed the documentaries “Ínsula” (1993) and “O Silencio” (1999), the latter with José Alves Pereira.Source: Lusa