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Beanpole by Kantemir Balagov premiers in Portugal today

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Beanpole, a film by young Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov, sees its Portuguese premier today, at Espaço Nimas. Balagov is one of the most promising Russian filmmakers, and one of the greatest revelations made by Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival, which presented his first feature film Closeness in 2017. The film earned him the Best Film and Best Actress Awards at LEFFEST, bestowed by a jury presided by David Cronenberg.

In this year’s edition, Balagov returned to LEFFEST with Beanpole, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize and of the Award for Best Director at Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival, and has also been shortlisted to compete for the Oscar for Best International Feature Film. A film about destruction and hope, Beanpole tells the story of two young women who try to rebuild their lives amid a devastated Leningrad.

The two films’ common denominator is perhaps, as João Lopes wrote in Diário de Notícias, “the careful way Balagov inscribes his narratives in very precise historical contexts”. Refusing cinema’s traditional codes, he takes the collective history of a people, or a city, as the starting point to an intimate study into the individual stories of his characters. Presented at LEFFEST’s Official Selection – In Competition, Beanpole was awarded the Special Jury Prize, attributed in ex aequo to the two emerging actresses, Viktoria Miroshnichenko e Vasilisa Perelygina, for their extraordinary artistic contributions.
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