Carolina Campanela debuts as lead actress on the big screen with ‘Mãos no fogo’


• Margarida Gil’s feature film, which is competing in the 23FICLPGC’s Official Section for a Lady Harimaguada, will be screened this evening, at 6:00 p.m., at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas, where its lead actress will have a talk with the audience

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Monday, April 22, 2024. Carolina Campanela has made the leap from the theater stage, in which she’s already had a long career, to the big screen as the lead actress in Mãos no fogo (Hands in the Fire) (Portugal, 2024, 109 min.). This film directed by Margarida Gil will premiere in Spain as part of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival’s Official Feature Film Section. Campanela herself has come to Gran Canaria to share with the audience her experience in a shooting that, as she confessed, has been “a learning experience.” She will do so after the screening of the film that’ll take place on Monday evening, April 22, at 6:00 p.m. at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas Screen 6.

The work, which will have a second screening tomorrow, April 23 (8 p.m., Screen 7), tells the story of Maria do Mar, a young film student, explores the mansions along the Douro River in order to work on her thesis about reality. However, the last one she visits hides much more than meets the eye. It is, as Campanela explained, a setting in which “the limits of evil” will be explored through the fictional characters the actress was able to get to know better during the actual shooting by reading.

That was possible due to Mãos no fogo being a free adaptation of Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw, in which the lead actress becomes a “foreign character” who joins the plot in the film project created by the director. “I read the book when the shooting began and I think it was a good decision because it was as if I could suddenly see the rest of the characters better, since we were also filming almost chronologically,” said Campanela.

Those filming days, which mostly took place in a single setting, the mansion, made her feel “as if I hadn’t left the theater.” Campanela also pointed out that it was easy working with Margarida Gil, “a very humane director” who gave her and her co-stars “a lot of freedom when it came to acting.”

That’s why, among other reasons, she really appreciated her experience on the big screen, where she’d had two supporting roles previously. “It’s my first leading role and I’m very happy because it’s not the same to play a small part than to be there for the whole shooting,” said Campanela, who also noted that she was fascinated during the filming by Gil’s work, as well as by the director of photography’s. “I thought everything was settled, but no. They explored a way of filming with light. It was an experiment as part of the working process and the truth is that I was very surprised.”

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