Diogo Costa Amarante’s first feature film is being filmed in Porto

Director Diogo Costa Amarante is filming his first feature film, “Safe Only”, in Porto with the support of Filmaporto — film commission.

Bairro do Foco, Rua de Santa Catarina, Palácio das Águas and Casa da Música were some of the scenarios chosen for the shooting of the film, which started in October, after being postponed in 2020. “We were forced to delay the shooting of the film, which we planned to start at a time that coincided with the beginning of the pandemic. It was necessary to suspend all the preparatory work and replace decors and locations since some of them became impractical in the context of the pandemic”, explains the filmmaker.

“Safe Only” – working title – is a comedy of errors where three different generations – son, mother, and grandmother – struggle with stereotypes and paradoxes, illusions, and anxieties, that block the experience of love. “Safe Only is an expression used in casual dating apps that means safe sex only. The film evokes this principle of security and protection, critically transposing it to the universe of other intimate, romantic or family relationships, which, therefore, go beyond the strictly sexual content”, explains Diogo Costa Amarante.

For the script, the director was inspired by his experiences in Fontinha, a former working-class neighborhood in Porto, where he wrote the narrative, and by the people who inhabit the city. “The film takes advantage of a certain atmospheric density that distinguishes Porto from other cities, putting the city in dialogue with the characters and situations”.

The neighbourhood was also the inspiration for the filmmaker’s previous short film, “Luz de Presença”, recently awarded with a Silver Wolf at the Festival of New Cinema in Montreal, Canada. “Once, at the end of a screening of one of my films, a man approached me and told me, moved, that the film had touched him a lot”, recalls the director. “The awards are an additional stimulus to continue making films.”

Still without a release date, “Safe Only” is the second production by O Verde do Jardim, a production company recently founded in Porto by Diogo Costa Amarante and intended exclusively for his productions.

The film crew features Carloto Cotta, Sandra Faleiro, Anabela Moreira and Cucha Carvalheiro (cast), Patrick Mendes (1st Assistant Director), Raquel da Silva (Production  and Casting Director), Joana Cordeiro (Line Producer), Sabine Lancelin (Photography Director), Luís Silveira (Sound Director), Bruno Duarte (Art Director) and Fernanda Borges (Costume Designer).