João Botelho

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For the footballer, see João Botelho (footballer).
João Botelho
Born 1949
Lamego, Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Occupation Film director and writer
Spouse(s) Leonor Pinhão
Children Francisco Pinhão Botelho, António Pinhão Botelho and Joana Pinhão Botelho.

João Botelho (born 1949) is a Portuguese film director.

He has directed and written the screenplays of numerous films. His films have won several awards. His works have been nominated for the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion.

Awarded the prestigious Ordem do Infante D.Henrique (Grau Comendador), one of Portuguese's highest honors, by President Jorge Sampaio on June 10, 2005.

Early years[edit]

João Botelho born in Lamego, northern Portugal. He enrolled in mechanical engineering at the University of Coimbra and in cinema at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School (Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema), in 1974, dropping out in both cases. Has worked as graphic artist. His first cinematographic works were O Alto do Cobre and Um Projecto de Educação Popular, both in 1976.


The following films were directed by Botelho. For all except Um Projecto De Educação Popular, O Alto Do Cobre, No Dia Dos Meus Anos, 13 Filmes X 3, As Mãos E As Pedras, and Viagem Ao Coração Do Douro, A Terra Onde Nasci, he also wrote the screenplay.

  • O Alto do Cobre (1976, Short)
  • Um Projecto de Educação Popular (1976, Short)
  • Os Bonecos de Santo Aleixo (1977, Feature documentary)
  • Alexandre Rosa (1978) | Short with Jorge Alves da Silva - Premier in Semaine des Cahiers – Paris, cinema Action République
  • Um Adeus Português (1985, A Portuguese Farewell) | Premier Festival of London, Rio de Janeiro – Tucano de Ouro, New Film, New Directors, MOMA New York, Forum of Berlin
  • Tempos Difíceis (1987, Hard Times) | Premier in Venice Film Festival, official selection, competition – award of Italian critics-, Festival de New York, Lincoln Center
  • No Dia dos Meus Anos (1991, On My Birthday) | On demand of RTP/ARTE sur les 4 éléments; premier in Festival de Locarno, sélection officielle, hors compétition
  • 13 Filmes X 3’ (1996) | for Trio de Quattro, RTP
  • Se a Memória Existe (1999, Digital Video, 30’) | – commande pour le 25eme anniversaire du 25 Avril; première au Festival de Venise, nouveaux territoires
  • A Luz na Ria Formosa (2005, Documentário, Digital Video, 50’) | Festival DocLisboa and selected officially in Torino Film Festival, Cinema de Reel, Paris, Viennal, Áustria and Festival di Popolo, Florence
  • A Baleia Branca, Uma Ideia de Deus (2006, Documentary, 50’, Digital Video) | On RTP demand to the worldwide theatre play day to the show Moby Dick, in Municipal Teatro de São Luiz
  • A Terra Antes do Céu (2007, Documentary, 50’, Digital Video) | On demand of Direcção Geral de Cultura do Norte to the commemorations of the birth’s century of Miguel Torga, a great poet and storyteller of the Portuguese twentieth century
  • Corrupção (2007) | This film was NOT signed by João Botelho, which was motivated by a dispute with the producer


  • In 1985, he won the Tucano de Ouro for Best Director at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival for Um Adeus Português.

Several nominations and awards in the Venice Film Festival:

  • Nominated to Golden Lion for O Fatalista in 2005, Quem És Tu? in 2001 and Tráfico in 1998.
  • Won the Mimmo Rotella Foundation Award for Quem És Tu? in 2001 and had a FIPRESCI Prize - Honorable Mention in 1988 for Tempos Difíceis.

Special Participations in Festivals[edit]

  • Honored with a tribute by the Festival Cinéma du Réel in Paris (France) in March 2006.
  • Honored with a tribute by the Festival Internacional du Film de La Rochelle (France) in June and July 1999.

Bibliographical References[edit]

"RAMOS, Jorge Leitão". Dicionário do Cinema Português (1962-1988). Editorial Caminho, SA, Lisbon, 1989

External links[edit]