Sofia Leite has worked as a journalist on Portuguese television (RTP) since 1989. She hold a degree in Journalism from the ESJ (École Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris) and a certificate in Art History from the Portuguese National Fine Arts Society. Recent years have seen her focus on directing documentaries, among them Slavónia, a última travessia, awarded in 1998 at Portugal’s Atlantic Television Showcase (MAT) for televised documentaries about the sea; O último voo da águia pesqueira, a prize-winner at the North Alentejo Environment Festival in 2001; A Lista de Chorin, co-written with António Louçã, recognised with the 2007 Gazeta Grand Prize and selected for Basel’s BaKaForum 2009; Portugueses nas Trincheiras, also written with António Louçã; Cesária Évora – Nha Sentimento, released in 2010; Água vai, Pedra leva, winner of the 2015 Gazeta Television Prize; and A Espera, directed by Sofia Leite in 2016.
A List of Chorin
During the final phase of World War II, two Portuguese diplomats, Sampaio Garrido and Teixeira Branquinho, attempt to save hundreds of the Jews who were deported to Auschwitz. Hungary’s wealthiest family, the Weisses, begin a negotiation with the SS, handing over to them the industrial group under their control, Manfred Weiss, in exchange for allowing 36 members of the Weiss family to flee to Portugal. The big question is whether the SS, given their history, will keep their word and let the family escape. Chorin’s List tells the story of the Portuguese diplomats’ advocacy for the Jews and the outcome of the risky negotiations between Ferenc Chorin and the SS.
Cesária Évora – “Nha sentimento”
Cesária Évora is one of the biggest singers in the Portuguese language today. Her voice and her talent made her famous, but her eccentricities — like her barefoot stage presence and her penchant for the alcoholic Cape Verdean beverage grogue — have added to her legendary persona. It was in the late 80s, in France, with the help of music producer José da Silva , that Cesária rocketed to success. The “Barefoot Diva” was born. But who is Cesária Évora? Offstage, Cesária is a discreet, quiet person. With this documentary, we aim to reveal who this singer really is and how she rose from her humble origins to attain worldwide stardom. We accompany her to São Vicente (Cape Verde), to Paris, her second home, and even to Israel, where we follow her on her final tour.