By EMMA BERTENSHAW [email protected]
A 21-year old Algarve based woman has won the best actress award for her role in the short film Drink at the Bragacine Film Festival in Northern Portugal.
Serena Grace Horn, who has lived in the Algarve since she was 11, went to school in Loulé and attended acting classes.
Drink was only her second film but she is already working on her fourth.
The Bragacine Film Festival, held at Minho University in Braga, is in its ninth year and draws an international jury.
Drink is a short film about a young woman, Julia, who has a phobia of water from traumatic past experiences which continue to haunt her.
Gradually she succumbs to her anxieties with tragic consequences when she kills her partner Alex.
The film was shot in Lagos by local director Tiago Inácio and produced by Seventh Kingdom Productions, which is made up of a team of creative individuals including Serena.
“I had to get into a freezing cold swimming pool in the middle of November; the ocean was warmer at the time,” said Serena, describing some of the tougher elements of film making. “It was full of bugs and one big spider in particular. I found that a little challenging!”
Originally, the Alex character was going to be male but at short notice he was replaced by Ânia Bonança and despite the switch, audiences responded well and the film itself received an honourable mention at the festival.
Serena said the festival was a great opportunity to meet other people in the industry. “We went for the first two days and met so many great people, including Sofia Reis, the Portuguese actress, and Julian Grant, the director of Robocop. While I was there, Julian made a short film with me called Ela.”
Ela, directed by Julian Grant, is available to view by going to www.bragacineindependente.com, where there are more details on the festival itself and other winners.
Serena feels that Portugal has a big future in film making but she said: “At the moment there are films that are made on a small budget or are only half done because there is a lack of support and publicity.”
With the possibilities of social media, it changes the outlook for small independent films such as Drink, enabling them to reach a much wider audience on a small budget.
It was promoted using Facebook and trailers can also be found on Vimeo and Youtube in association with Seventh Kingdom Productions.
At present, the film is only being shown at film festivals but there are plans for Drink to be available to the public next year.
In the meantime, Serena says she is already looking forward to her next project where she will star alongside Sofia Reis.
This will be in time for the Algarve International Film Festival in Portimão next spring.
For more details on the Algarve Film Festival, please visit www.algarvefilmfest.com.