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A Conversation with Filmmaker Gabriel Abrantes on 'Amelia's Children'

Exploring Ancient Myths: A Conversation with Filmmaker Gabriel Abrantes on 'Amelia's Children'

We had the privilege of sitting down with filmmaker Gabriel Abrantes to delve into the inspiration and creative process behind his latest film, "Amelia's Children," which explores Portuguese myths and witch lore.

1. The Roots of Inspiration:

- Question: "Gabriel, 'Amelia's Children' delves into ancient Portuguese myths and witch lore. Can you share the inspiration behind these themes and how they influenced the narrative?

- Abrantes: "Growing up in the States with a Portuguese background, I drew inspiration from my family's roots in the mountainous region of northern Portugal. The rich folklore around witchcraft, Celtic myths, and artifacts from that area, coupled with childhood experiences exploring cemeteries, partially inspired the film. It evolved from contemplating family dynamics, especially mother-son relationships, and intertwining them with witchcraft."

2. The Cinematic Backdrop:

- Question: "The film's atmosphere and setting, particularly the mansion, play a significant role. How did you approach creating this dynamic backdrop, and how did it enhance the storyline?

- Abrantes: "Filming in Sintra with art director Paula Szabo, we drew inspiration from iconic films like Suspiria and The Shining, transforming a crumbling palace into our creative canvas. The decaying yet atmospheric setting allowed us to craft a visual experience aligned with our creative vision."

3. Supernatural Elements and Family Dynamics:

- Question: "In 'Amelia's Children,' there's a fascinating blend of supernatural elements and family dynamics. What drew you to this combination, and how did you balance the eerie with the familial?

- Abrantes: "I've always been fascinated by family dynamics, drawing inspiration from classical tragedies and Shakespearean themes. The enduring resonance of family-focused dramas led me to explore this intersection, balancing the eerie with familial bonds."

4. Carloto Cotta's Striking Performance:

- Question: "Carloto Cotta's performance as the twins and Amelia's transformation is striking. Can you share the process of bringing these characters to life in the film's peculiar atmosphere?

- Abrantes: "Carloto's portrayal involved evolving Amelia's character from an aged witch to one obsessed with beauty and youth. Prosthetics artists David Bonneywell and Rita Anjos played a crucial role. Carloto embraced the contrast between the brothers, finding Manuel's character through wardrobe choices, capturing the essence of a sensual aristocrat."

5. Balancing Fantasy and Reality:

- Question: "Witchcraft and fairy tale aspects are prominent. How did you integrate these elements effectively into the storyline, and what challenges did you face in balancing the fantastical with the real?

- Abrantes: "Beyond blending fantasy and reality, our main challenge was balancing horror and comedy. In the editing room, we worked meticulously to strike the right balance, drawing inspiration from horror classics with comedic elements."

6. Lilith Undertones and Symbolism:

- Question: "One intriguing aspect is the Lilith undertones. Can you shed light on the intentional incorporation of Lilith's mythos and its significance for the characters and narrative?

- Abrantes: "Lilith, Countess Báthory, and the Greek god Kronos influenced the narrative. Easter eggs in the film, like the symbol of Kronos/Saturn, add layers to the story, connecting with broader mythological themes."

We extend our sincere thanks to Gabriel Abrantes for offering insights into the fascinating world of "Amelia's Children." Follow #AmeliasChildren and #GabrielAbrantes for more updates on this captivating film. Thank you for your time, Gabriel!

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