The Original Contest

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 at the bottom of this page. I would like that each filmmaker chooses a character and film his/her perspective. You will receive an email reply confirming your registration and for your character of choice.

3. Those that wish to participate will have to record a video and upload their videos in their Myspace account (of course the original version has to be in a good 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 your movie is up-loaded in your myspace account you can send the link directly to my profile in myspace :
and to [email protected]

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 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 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 films can be recorded in any language as long as they are submitted with English, French, Portuguese or Spanish subtitles. Do not worry about eventual accents because most characters have a foreign accent.

9. The deadline for inscriptions is the 25th of July 2008 and the results will be known by the 24th of August 2008, the date of my birthday.

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 canceled. 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!