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Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira dies aged 106

AFP I Portugese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira

Authorities say Manoel de Oliveira, a celebrated Portuguese movie director believed to be the world’s oldest filmmaker, has died. He was 106.

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The city council of Porto, where Oliveira was born and lived, announced his death Thursday on its website. It did not provide further details. Producer Luis Urbano also relayed the news to the AFP news agency, quoting family sources.

Oliveira’s career began with a silent documentary about Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, in 1931. He made his first feature-length movie in 1942 but his output was sporadic until he was 82, when he began directing roughly a film every year.

He made more than 30 feature films and dozens of short films and documentaries and he was over 100 years old when his last feature, “Gebo and The Shadow,” came out in 2012. Oliveira was reportedly the only filmmaker whose career ran from the silent era well into the digital age.

In 2008, he was awarded the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes for his life-long contribution to cinema, as well as the French Legion of Honour. Gilles Jacob, president of the Cannes film festival until last year, called Oliveira a "legend and a mystery".

Portuguese actor and director Maria de Meideiros once described him as a "genius who represented the creative freedom of cinema".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)
 

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