João Canijo


Generic Bio

João Canijo (Porto, 1957) is known for films such as "Sangue do Meu Sangue"(2011), which was the Portuguese film selected to compete for the Oscar for Best Film, or "Fátima"(2017), which aired on RTP1 in 5 episodes.

He attended the History course at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto and, in the early 80s, discovered his passion for cinema and began working as an assistant director on films such as Der Stand der Dinge (The State of Things, 1982) , by Wim Wenders; End of Season (1982), by Jaime Silva; and O Desejado (1987), by Paulo Rocha, among others.

In 1983, he made his debut as a director with the short film A Meio-Amor. Five years later, he made his first feature film entitled Três Menos Eu, the script for which he was also responsible for, starring Rita Blanco and Isabel de Castro. He later worked for television, directing the series Alentejo Sem Lei for RTP.

He returned to work with Rita Blanco in his next film, the thriller Filha da Mãe (1991), with a script written in half with Olivier Assayas. This was followed by the thriller Sapatos Pretos (1998), a co-production with France with Ana Bustorff and Vítor Norte in the main roles, which tells the story based on a true case of a woman from Sines who hired a murderer to kill her husband. The film received considerable critical acclaim. In 2001, he directed Ganhar a Vida, a tragic drama starring Rita Blanco.

In 2004, among eleven candidate films, his film Noite Escura was chosen by the Institute of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia as the Portuguese candidate for nominations for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.