“It’s true that I like to be involved in films that would not exist without me. To do something that somebody else could do as well, I’m not interested enough...
it’s dead, you know.”
Paulo Branco began his career as a producer in 1979, with a clear vision of how he wanted to manage it. Firstly, if he wanted to make films that he really felt passionate about, he knew that he would have to produce in different countries, in addition to his native Portugal. Secondly, in order to be able to control all the important decisions of his films and retain all the selling rights of them, Branco knew that he had to remain as an independent producer, avoiding coproductions and avoiding receiving funds from government or other companies.
As if he had been drawn from a Wachowski sisters’ story, Branco seemed to possess the blessing of the oracle to discover new talents and undertake projects that at first sight would seem impossible. His sagacity and commitment made him an inspiring leader and influential teacher for many people, a Morpheus for the film production world.
His loyalty to his work policies, his innate radar to discover promising directors, his confidence in accepting high-risk movies, and his ability to work with tight budgets have allowed him to build a prestigious worldwide trajectory, and to work with acclaimed directors such as Jacques Rozier, Manoel de Oliveira, Benoît Jacquot, Raoul Ruiz, Wim Wenders, Chantal Akerman, Peter Handke,
Michel Piccoli, Jean Claude Biette, Sharunas Bartas, Andrzej Zulawski and David Cronenberg.
In addition to being a renowned producer, Branco owns cinemas and distribution companies both in Portugal and in France. He has been a jury member of several festivals such as Berlin, Venice and Rotterdam, and he is president of the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival, which he founded in 2007.
For Paulo Branco, cinema is more than just entertainment, it is a mirror of the identity and culture of each country, a window to the worldview of each artist and director. Distributing and exhibiting independent films, which the most cautious investors would reject as non-commercial projects, and believing in new talent, Branco contributes to preserving and giving international visibility to these cultural testimonies.
With more than thirty years of career and a filmography that exceeds 270 films, Branco is, today, one of the most important and creative independent producers in Europe.
— Georgina Furber Avila