Gabriel will also meet the mysterious Kelly (Susana Sá) a woman with a connection to his father’s past who knows more than it first appears. In an effort to help his severely ill father, Gabriel is set to fight against Rui. Along the way, Gabriel finds hope in Dani (Almeno Gonçalves), one of the owners of the Boxing Club who becomes his trainer as well as Elisa (Ana Marta Ferreira), a young woman who helps him accept this new life and motivates him for his most important fight.
In the big screen, in 2017, Igor starred in Ruth , António Pinhão Botelho’s first feature film (Leopardo Filmes), where he plays Eusébio, the famous Portuguese football player. For television works, in 2014, Igor participated in Água de Mar (RTP/Coral Europa) and between 2015-17 he was part of the cast of A Única Mulher (TVI/Plural), a very successful soap opera. In 2018 he participated in the TV show Circo Paraíso (RTP/Vende-se Filmes) and the soap opera Alma e Coração (SIC/SP Televisão). Igor was nominated for the 2019 Portuguese Golden Globes for his role in Gabriel .
José Condessa is a promising young actor. He had his soap opera debut in 2015, with Jardins Proibidos (TVI/Plural). He has also been in Santa Bárbara (TVI/Plural), Rainha das Flores (SIC/SP) and Espelho d’ Água (SIC/SP). Recently he participated in TVI’s O Valor da Vida and participated and won the 2019 Portuguese edition of Dancing With The Stars . Gabriel is the first feature film in which he co-stars.
Ana Marta Ferreira is a young 24 year old actress who was born in Lisbon. She started her career in television at the age of 9, debuting in TVI’s famous soap opera Morangos com Açúcar , one of the most successful juvenile programs of the last ten years. She followed that with many appearances in other soap operas such as A Única Mulher , series, short films and feature films which includes O Fim da Inocência (2017), a film by Portuguese director Joaquim Leitão, the highest grossing portuguese film of 2017.
Vado was born in a Cape-Verdean ecosystem and, which can be seen in the Cape-Verdean rap and rhythms that have marked the dancefloors of the periphery. His dream is to play in a big Portuguese arena, like he has done in Cape Verde and in other countries where he has toured. This is something that is bound to happen after having a great concert in this year’s Avante Festival. Gabriel is his first film collaboration, having created the official song and participated as an actor.
The film’s soundtrack has some of the most talented Portuguese artists in the hip-hop genre, including Vado, who sings four songs of the film – one of them a duet with Bispo, in addition to Piruka, Estraca, Dillaz, Wet Bed Gang ft. Charlie Beats, and the artist of CapeVerdean descent, Mynda Guevara, among others.
Tim Janssens is a Belgian producer and composer of music for film and television, currently living in Los Angeles. With a classical music background, Tim’s career began as a producer and composer of EDM (Electronic Dance Music), making big remixes of pop songs by artists like Ne-Yo, Flo Rida and Nelly Furtado. Tim moved to Los Angeles after making several soundtracks for European films, television programs and video games. The United Kingdom Festival of Horror awarded him the best original soundtrack award for his work in the film Raven .
The message, language and characteristics of Gabriel are clearly aimed at a young audience. Nowadays it is a challenge to address this audience through cinema in Portugal. This age group is accustomed to downloading films, grew up with the advantage of TV on demand and is highly exposed to fiction and adventure films produced in Hollywood.
Facing this reality, it is urgent to create a national cinema that meets the needs and expectations of young people and adolescents, because I believe that cinema still plays a very important role in the creation of cultural references for the new generations. Cinema is essential to the preservation of the culture, history and identity of a nation, especially with regard to the passage of these values to future generations.
Gabriel discusses topics such as xenophobia, bullying and immigration. These subjects are a priority for Portuguese and European young people, whether at home or at school. This whole paradigm of the European citizen generated by migratory movements brings a new reality and a new way to grow, moving from child to adult. This process of defining your true identity is the center of the film story.
I wanted to get away from a Hollywood way of seeing the world, which does not correspond to the reality of European youth. In Gabriel , our hero has no easy life, as he doesn’t become a superstar overnight and is far from a perfect teenager. He identifies with the vast majority of young Europeans who face various behavioral and social dilemmas in their daily life, but deep down just want to feel integrated in various contexts of their lives, at home, in their circles of friends and in their school environment.
Finally, Gabriel intends to show one of the toughest Portuguese neighborhoods. The neighborhood of Olivais is today a haven of culture where past and present co-exist, a neighborhood that is home to many different nationalities, namely the Cape-Verdean (the second largest immigrant community in Portugal) people. For all these reasons, I consider this a relevant story to young people and adults. It is a universal story, that despite taking place in a Portuguese district, may well be happening, with real characters, in any part of Europe.