Paulo Coelho & The Experimental Witch: an invitation

Thought I would share this out of the box idea with anyone who stops by….

The author, Paulo Coelho, is launching, or should I say, has launched, an invitation to the public to participate in an experimental film, interpreting his novel: The Witch of Portobello.





The Experimental Witch

Throughout my career as a writer, I’ve met people that trusted me without knowing me well and they have helped me, enabling me to follow my dreams. I’ve been visiting the pages of readers this last year and I’ve seen excellent works by actresses & actors, musicians, directors, etc.

That’s why I thought: why not make a movie together? I would retain the rights of the film based on my latest book The Witch of Portobello while developing this partnership. From then onwards, I’ve developed the following project, already registered:

1. The book, The Witch of Portobello, is divided into 15 narrators/perspectives. Most of them – 13 – directly interact with Athena, the main character.

2.You may register and choose your character (the registration is limited to 100 filmmakers) at the bottom of this page. I would like that each filmmaker chooses a character and film his/her perspective. Since the number of applications is restricted, we will choose the filmmakers on the basis of “first come, first served”. You will receive an email reply confirming your registration and if your character of choice is still available.

3. Those that wish to participate will have to record a video and upload it into their youtube account (of course the original version has to be in high definition and with perfect sound).
This filmmaker will have to illustrate the scenes where the narrator interacts with Athena. Since there will be a myriad of projects, I am aware that Athena will always be a different person (Caucasian, African, Asian, etc). This plurality is welcomed since Athena’s character is supposed to be “fleeting”.
The filmmaker that chooses a narrator’s perspective will have to make all the scenes of the book in which this narrator interacts with Athena, not merely one chapter. I would prefer that the filmmakers stay close to the scenes of the book (for instance, if a filmmaker chooses to narrate the story of Athena from the perspective of the priest Giancarlo Fontana, he/she will have to illustrate the scene where Athena is refused the communion after her divorce).

4. Once the filmmaker has done all the scenes that involve their character of choice, he has to create a Youtube account and upload their version into this Youtube page for selection. When creating this Youtube account, please set your videos to private and send us the link. We ask our participants not to show this to others during the competition.

How do I join to youtube?
How do I confirm my email address to youtube after signing up?
How do I make my video private?

5. Once we select the best videos our lawyer will get in touch with you and will send you the contract and the address to which you will have to send your original HD material. There will be a 3 000 € prize for the filmmakers that are selected. The rights of image will be entirely given to us.

6. Once this selection is made and the original HD material sent to us, our professional editor will use them in order to recreate the book. We will make all the efforts in order to show the final version in film festivals throughout the world and equally sell the right to distributors (even though this may be very difficult).

7. We also invite musicians from Myspace to create either a general theme for the feature film, or themes for each narrator and/or character. In this specific case, we will pay 1,500 € for the theme chosen and the artist will have to sign a contract in which he will be granting us the rights for the film (but not for the disc). For the musicians, please up-load your song into your myspace profile and send a message to Paulo Coelho’s myspace profile:

8. The rushes can be recorded in English. Do not worry about eventual accents because most characters have a foreign accent.

9. The deadline for inscriptions is the 19th of March 2008 and the results will be known by the 25th of July 2008.

You may be asking yourself, what’s the advantage of all this?
From my point of view, while retaining authorship rights, I’ll be diving into a new experience and seeing before hand the plurality of views about my book.

From the contestant’s perspective, if we manage to close the deal with big festivals and/or distributors, they will acquire a wider visibility.

Last but not least, we would be doing a bit of cinematographic history together: a film directed by its narrators!

I hope you like the idea. Take into consideration that if we don’t receive materials that are up to our standards the project will be cancelled. All those that wish to participate, please register below.
We wish for this to happen. And here is the first film made by its participants!




I thought it was a cool idea, and wanted to pass on the opportunity.


6 thoughts on “Paulo Coelho & The Experimental Witch: an invitation

  1. I think that is a wonderful idea! Wish I knew more about film making. 🙂 I wish you lots and lots of luck with this outstanding idea! *HUGS*

  2. I too think it is a great idea the author put out into this virtual earth. I am more of a word person, not sophisticated in film technique, but I am hoping someone that stops by will be enriched by the opportunity. Great to see you back Angela!

  3. A very exciting project. We will do the view of Peter Sherney and we do it in a virtual world as a machinima production. It’s quite a hard work because we found this project 4 weeks before the deadline, so we have to work fast 🙂

  4. Pingback: Marian, the Gang, the film & Paulo Coehlo, The Witch « Surface Earth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s