Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Witch of Portobello: A Film Journey

Every experiment takes place as a human attempt to bring the angels of change to the barren ground of routine, the ordinary, the familiar. This is the story of an experiment. Mr. Paulo Coelho, the Latin American author,(The author of THE ALCHEMIST), through his film contest named 'THE EXPERIMENTAL WITCH Film Competition', has attempted an experiment with film making, where he himself selected the winners of the contest, identifying the film, which can stand close to his own conception of his novel, THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO.

Image Courtesy:http://www.biography.com
 It was held on August 24, 2008. In the competition, a different crew filmed each of the chapters of the novel, THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO. Out of 6,000 submissions, there were 14 winners, one for each chapter of the novel.

In the novel, the character of Athena, the protagonist, evolves through the narratives of different people; either once associated with her or knew her. Now, these fourteen films have been edited into a two-hour feature film and are premiering for the first time at the International Rome Film Festival—an experimental film first of its kind in history.

One of the readers of THE INDIAN COMMENTATOR, and my friend, writer, actor, producer, Miss. Carolena Sabah is also a part of this project. Her film had won the award for the best film, in 'THE EXPERIMENTAL WITCH Film Competition'. Her film is directed by Tadesh Daschi. The film is on the “Nabil Alaihi” chapter.

Image Courtesy: Carolena Sabah
Carolena Sabah was born, with Armenian heritage, on Aug. 15, 1974 as the second child to her mother Juliet Gevorkoff, and her father Robert Golian, in Iran, where her father was an aerospace engineer and her mother, who was a scholar of international communications, was a prominent travel guide.

Soon after Carolena and her sister Pauline's birth, her family moved out of Iran, her home country, due to the rise of fundamentalist forces in the country. The family immigrated to Greece and then to the United States. They settled in Los Angeles, California. Carolena excelled in her school activities and won many honours and awards.

In college, she was Speaker of the House, an esteemed award, graced the Dean's Honor List, was invited to be a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and graduated at the top of her class. She is a licensed Dental Hygienist, by profession.
Image Courtesy: Paulo Coelho
In 2001, she enrolled at the Stella Adler Conservatory in Hollywood as a student of the craft of Acting. Congratulations Carolena, and all the very best for the success of your new film. The premiere of the film in the International Rome Film festival will be on October 20, 2009, Tuesday at 9 pm. THE INDIAN COMMENTATOR wishes Mr. Paulo Coelho, and all the crew of this film, the very peak of success. For further details on the film, visit:

[For further reading on THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO go to :http://anu-lal.blogspot.com/2009/04/child-of-mother.html


Anya said...

It was very interesting to read :)

Have a relaxing weekend
Anya :)

Anu Lal said...

Thank you so much Anya.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for this article!
Much appreciated.
I hope you are well!

Anu Lal said...

You are always welcome, Carolena.I am fine.
Hope your visit to Rome, had been a fantastic experience.
Take care,