Fantasporto 2010, Honorable Mention of International Jury

Nuno is a man who works in a sandwich stand, but he is also the man who invented a machine which promises to revolutionize the shoe industry. In a time of a petrol embargo, Nuno finds himself in a sinister situation. Blinded by the promise of success and his obsession with achieving his goals in life, he tries desperately to sell his machine.
He is mysteriously trapped in his own car and misses the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally present his invention to the world – and his life is suddenly embargoed…

ANTÓNIO FERREIRA (Coimbra, 1970)
He started working as a computer programmer while dedicating his spare time to photography, a profession that he would later abandon when leaving for Paris in 1991. In 1994 he started studying at the Lisbon Film University (ESTC). In 1996 he entered the Berlin Film Academy where he studied for another two years.
In 2000, he went to the Cannes Film Festival with the short film Breathing (under water) and won several prizes in international festivals. One year later he shot his first feature film, Forget everything I’ve told you, which became one of the most successful films in Portugal that year. Recently he shot the short film It Wasn’t God’s Will(2007), which has won several international film awards. Embargo is his second feature film.

Based on José Saramago’s homonymous short-story, written in the 80’s, Embargo aims to question people’s dependence on petrol. Written almost thirty years ago, this story seems to us as visionary and surprisingly actual, both for its theme and the events it tells. In our film, the main character’s drama becomes more and more intense as time goes by. He realises that he is captive of his own car. It was our intention to underline Modern Man’s dependence on machines (and its consequences) and stress out one of the paradoxes brought by post-modern age – does technology release or imprison us? (António Ferreira )

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