Paulo Branco

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Paulo Branco
Paulo Branco with red background.jpg
Born (1950-06-03) 3 June 1950 (age 65)
Lisbon, Portugal
Occupation Film producer
Years active 1975 – present

Paulo Branco (born 3 June 1950) is a Portuguese film producer.

Life and career[edit]

Paulo Branco was born in Lisbon, and attended the undergraduate program in chemical engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico but he did not graduate. He started his career as a producer in 1975 between Paris and Lisbon.

So far, he has produced over 300 films and has worked with the most renowned film directors in the world such as David Cronenberg, Jerzy Skolimowski, Wim Wenders, Chantal Akerman, Alain Tanner, Werner Schroeter, André Téchiné, Andrzej Zulawski, Christophe Honoré, Olivier Assayas, Sharunas Bartas, Cédric Kahn, Lucas Belvaux, Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi, João César Monteiro, Paul Auster, Philippe Garrel, Mathieu Amalric… among many others. His career has particularly been branded with an intense collaboration, during more than 20 years, with Raúl Ruiz (Time Regained, Three Lives and Only One Death…) and with Manoel de Oliveira (Francisca, Abraham’s Valley, The Satin Slipper…)

His contribution to the dynamics of independent cinema is as remarkable as the extent of his international visibility. Since the very beginning of his career, Paulo Branco has established his presence in the greatest international film festivals. He has been member of the jury at the Berlinale (1999), at Venice’s Mostra (2005), and at the Rotterdam Film Festival (2006). In 2011, he was foreman of the jury at the Lecce Film Festival and at the Locarno Film Festival.

Paulo Branco is also well known as the producer who has had the greatest number of films selected at Cannes Film Festival and the greatest number of films having competed for the Golden Palm. He presented 53 films in Cannes - 27 of which in Official Selection - and brought 48 films to the Venice Film Festival.

He created several production and distribution companies in Portugal - Madragoa Filmes, Leopardo Filmes, Clap Filmes - where he also owns movie theatres and in France: Les Films du Passage, Gemini Films, and lately Alfama Films. Established in 2006, Alfama Films Production extends Paulo Branco’s commitment for independent cinema with directors he’s been supporting for a long time but also with emerging talents, always taking on new challenges like Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. In just a few years, it has built an impressive film catalogue welcomed in the most important festivals. Lines of Wellington by Valeria Sarmiento was presented in competition at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. Cosmopolis was selected in the official competition of Cannes in 2012. Mysteries of Lisbon by Raúl Ruiz was selected in competition at Toronto’s and San Sebastian’s Festival, Ashes and blood by Fanny Ardant was presented Out of competition in the Official Selection of Cannes 2009, This Night by Werner Schroeter was in competition in Venice 2008. Four Nights with Anna by Jerzy Skolimowski did the opening of Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in 2008. Love Songs by Christophe Honoré was selected in the official competition of Cannes 2007. Alfama Films has also been developing its activities of theatrical distribution, international sales and video edition.

Moreover, Paulo Branco is President of the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, event that he founded in 2007. Every year he welcomes there the greatest artists and intellectuals of the world, such as David Lynch, Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Don Delillo, J.M. Coetzee, Cindy Sherman, Lou Reed, Stephen Frears, John Malkovich, Matthew Barney, Paul Giamatti, James Gray, Abdellatif Kechiche, Wim Wenders… just to mention a few.

Paulo Branco has also received numerous awards and several tributes during his career. The European Parliament in Strasburg awarded him with the Europa Award giving him the title of “Greatest European Producer” in 1997. In 1998, the Republic of Chile decorated him with the Gabriela Mistral Order, the highest distinction of the country, for his collaboration with Raúl Ruiz. In 2002, the Locarno Film Festival dedicates, for the very first time, the Raimondo Rezzonico Award to a producer by rewarding Paulo Branco. Finally, in 2004, Paulo Branco receives from the French Republic the title of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Over the years Paulo Branco has been interviewed by the most renowned cinema critics, notably for the French magazine Les Cahiers du Cinema.

Personal life[edit]

He is the father of Juan Branco.

Selected filmography[edit]


1997: Europa Award of the Euopean Parliament

1998: Gabriela Mistral Order of the Republic of Chile

2002: Raimondo Rezzonico Award of the Locarno Film Festival

2004: Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic


External links[edit]