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Fado Filmes: film and destiny


Fado means destiny and it’s used to refer to the traditional Portuguese music that is typically melancholic and narrates drama, loss and saudade (nostalgia). I chose that name for our company because I felt that cinema was my destiny. It’s a beautiful word, easy to remember and it has a deep meaning,” says Luis Galvão Teles who, along with his son Goncalo, run Fado Filmes, a film production company in Lisbon.

Fado filmes has been mainly active in film co-productions “We have produced over forty films to date with most of them being primarily co-productions. One of my first was Elles with Samsa Film, back in 1997, which sold in over 30 territories. We’ve always sought to co-produce and reinforce European connections.” More recently, Fado Filmes shifted its focus to the production of TV series: “We underwent a major transformation lately and entered a new world with series production. We have quite a few projects in pre-production and development but they are more expensive and they are financed by TV which makes things more complicated funding-wise.”

“While Portuguese cinema is funded mainly by the state, and most of the funds are secured before shooting, with series it’s very different. They are financed by private TV networks or platforms and they only pay once the episodes are delivered. This creates a cashflow problem, and this meant that we needed a loan. Also, the cost of production for a series is quite high and I don’t know where we would have been without the loan,” Luis says. An EU-guaranteed loan from CGD, backed by the EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe provided the necessary cashflow for series production. “It was better than other financing arrangements in the sense that there was less bureaucracy involved, and also, we felt that we had a partner who really understands our activity.”

The situation going into 2021 is still volatile for the film industry and Luis is taking a cautious approach. “We’ve been interrupted twice already in 2020 by the pandemic, in March and in October. We have various projects in the pipeline, but I really don’t know how things will evolve. It’s been an unpredictable year.”

Looking ahead nonetheless, Goncalo, his son, assures the succession of the family business with the upcoming Nunca nada aconteceu (Nothing ever happened). “It’s a story that is based on real events. It’s about three teens united by suicide. The film explores what might have driven them to end their lives in a tragic way where no one can pretend that ‘nothing ever happened’,” Goncalo explains.

Company: Fado Filmes (Portugal)

Type of business: audio-visual

EIF financing: Cultural & Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS), EFSI

Financial intermediary: CGD

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Portugal, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/pt


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