Antonio, Dashing Antonio is a film about the director’s uncle who left Portugal for Brazil 50 years ago, at the age of 19 – never to return. Over the years, he has promised his mother that he would come back… but half a century later, she is still waiting. Why did he never return? "He may believe that life lasts a lifetime, but no," says his brother Bento, indignant. His 90-year-old mother has grown bitter and resigned: "If he doesn't give a damn about me, likewise!" Between the Portuguese hamlet where the uncle was born and grew up, and the megalopolis of Rio where he lives in a self-imposed exile, there is a world of misunderstanding and things that go unsaid.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Ana Maria Gomes is a franco-portuguese artist and filmmaker, born in 1982 in France. She lives and works in Paris. She graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris and went on to further study at Le Fresnoy, specializing in video art. Gomes’s work today focuses on the role of fiction in the construction of personal identities; her main artistic interest revolves around her inner circle and family in particular. In 2004, she directed her first short film "Simomen", a portrait of her 14-year-old brother. Two years later she joined Le Fresnoy (from which she graduated in 2007) where she worked on several artistic projects including "Teresa", a documentary that offers a jarring portrait of her childhood friend. The following year, with support from the Gulbenkian Foundation she produced "Antichambre", a video installation in which she filmed teenagers in their bedrooms. In 2014, with financial backing from G.R.E.C (Groupe de Recherches et d’Essais Cinématographiques), she directed "Antonio, Lindo Antonio", (Antonio, Dashing Antonio) a film about her uncle who left Portugal for Brazil 50 years ago – never to return. Her films have been shown in exhibitions and international festivals (Hors Piste at the Centre Pompidou, Locarno, Gaîté Lyrique, Jeu de Paume, Museum of Hunting and Nature in Paris, etc.). Her work has received support from artistic institutions including the G.R.E.C, the Gulbenkian Foundation, SCAM, DRAC or the Centre National des Arts Plastiques. Her most recent work « One, two, three, die » is part of the French National Contemporary Art Fund Collection (FNAC).