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Posted by jomad on August 30, 2014

It was a star-studded night. The Algarve’s first film premiere, showcasing a made-in-Algarve feel-good comedy-drama, packed Faro’s municipal Teatro das Figuras to the gunnels. By 8.30pm, crowds were already thronged around the foyer, reeled in by the curiosity that this low-budget feature length English language production has managed to generate since its inception four hard-work-filled years ago.

“This is incredible!” Director Kristjan Knigge shook his head in delight and a certain degree of amazement. “I still can’t quite believe it!”

As the hundreds of visitors filed into the auditorium to take their seats and watch the film so many people have been talking about, co-producer Chris Parker took a few moments to remind everyone just how far The Right Juice team has come.

“We said four years ago that we wanted to make a movie and now here we are. This is why we do this - this energy! It has been wonderful seeing you all come in. We just want to thank you for making this premiere happen!”

Earlier, stars Lúcia Moniz, Miguel Damião, lead actor and actress Mark Killeen and Ellie Chidzey as well as local legend Beau McClellan, had all given interviews to the Portuguese press.

As João Fernandes, vice-president of the Portuguese Tourism Board supporting the movie, told the audience, the whole event had a Hollywood sparkle.

There was even a red carpet, running the length of the forecourt leading up to the theatre, perfectly lit by stagelights. Just before the bell rang for people to take their seats, the lead players arrived - most of them in a stylish white BMW while the two most irreverent, Miguel Damião and Beau McClellan, made a flamboyant entrance in the film’s signature blue “Apé” (better known to locals as a ‘mata velhos’ three-wheeler).

The bounce and good humour set the tone as, finally, four years after it first set out on the road to stardom, the Right Juice played on the big screen to a crowd of well-wishers.

So what next? Where is The Right Juice (Portuguese title: O Sonho Certo) going?

Instantly, this big-little movie is going to start showing in the Algarve from mid-September.

Distributors Nos Lusomundo told the Resident they are “extremely excited” about its prospects and will be taking the film nationwide from October 2. This is exactly what producers BJ Boulter and Chris Parker want to hear - the latter adding that “the best way to help us now is to talk about the film. Tell people about it. Better still, bring people to see it!”

By now readers will all be aware that The Right Juice made it to the screen on the back of boundless goodwill. Businesses like Zoomarine and Vila Vita, Intermarché, Holiday Inn and many others helped pave the way - sponsoring the production with goods, services and locations - while crowdfunding did the rest.

Nos Lusomundo’s nationwide backing came after the company tracked TRJ online, and watched it grow. But now the team has to think global.

“This deal for Portugal will help us hugely”, Kristjan Knigge explained. “It means we have a complete package now - a film that has already attracted audiences who have paid to see it. It will make it a great deal easier to attract other distribution deals elsewhere”.

Knigge’s impetus in making the film was essentially in “coming home”. He works with a lot of success in Holland, but the Algarve was where he grew up. It is the place his mother, TRJ producer BJ Boulter - who herself has been making commercials for the best part of forty years - “decided to hang her hat”.

“A huge part of this was to boost the image of the Algarve as a perfect film-making location”, he told us. “We’ve had great support in this from the tourism board and the Algarve Film Commission, and now, well, let’s see if it works! I know I would love to make more films here in the Algarve”.

As the red carpet is rolled up until another occasion at Teatro das Figuras, eyes now are on how The Right Juice fares as it opens in the Algarve from September 18.
As Chris Parker said: “Tell your friends about it. Bring people to see it”, and help this low-budget movie take its next heroic step.