Beatriz’s War

Beatriz’s War

by Bety Reis & Luigi Acquisto

Synopsis | Cast & Crew | Technical Information

East Timor’s historic first feature film, A Guerra da Beatriz, is the haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought. It is a bold reworking of the 16th century French ‘Martin Guerre’ story. In this adaptation the original story is transposed to Portuguese Timor during the Indonesian occupation of the small nation. Sixteen years after Beatriz’s husband disappears during a brutal massacre by occupying Indonesian forces she is troubled by his mysterious return: is he the young man she’d lost or is he an impostor?

Awards & Festivals

Best Film at International Film Festival of India!
Gold Award for Features - Cinema and Judges' Choice Award for 2013 for director of photography, Valeriu Campan in Australia


Beatriz: Irim Tolentino
Teresa: Augusta Soares
Tomas: Jose Da Costa
Captain Sumitro: Gaspar De Oliveira Amaral Sarmento
Celestino: Funu Lakan
Father Nicolau: Osme Goncalves

Director Bio

Bety Reis
Bety Reis has written and directed many theatre productions in Timor-Leste since 1999, when the country became independent. She is the country’s leading film director having made four shorts and a feature. 

Luigi Acquisto
Luigi Acquisto has built a reputation for producing original, compelling and popular films, which explore social and political themes. He has been based in East Timor since 2007.


Bety Reis
The Cock Fight (2011, 11 Minutes, Documentary
Tais, (2011, 6 Minutes, Documentary) Producer
Salvador (9 Minutes, Documentary) Producer
Vagabond (2011, 15 Minutes, Drama)
Nit Picking (2012, 12 Minutes, Drama)
A Guerra da Beatriz (2013, 101 Minutes, Drama)

Luigi Acquisto
Spaventapasseri (1986, 32 mins, 16mm, drama) 4 AFI Nominations
Hungry Heart (1988, 91 mins, 35mm, drama) 
A Change of Face (1988, 3 x 27 mins, documentary, co-director)
Postcards From Italy (1989, 56 mins, documentary)
The Chase (1993, 26 mins, drama)
Big Bag’s Japanese (1997, 55 mins, documentary, co-director)
Once Were Monks (2000, 5 x 26 mins, documentary)
East Timor-Birth of a Nation (2002, 2 x 55 mins, documentary) 
The Life & Times of Malcolm Fraser. (2004, 63:07 mins, documentary) 
Trafficked (2004, 55 mins, documentary) 
The Shearers (2004, 4 X 26 mins, documentary, co-director) 
Singles Club (2005-06, 5 x 26 mins, documentary)
Rosa’s Journey (2008, 52 mins, documentary)
Trafficked – The Reckoning (2010 – 2011, 52 mins, documentary)
A Guerra da Beatriz (2013, 101 mins, Drama)
The Grey Man (2013, 55 mins, documentary)

Director Statement

Since independence East Timor has rebuilt from ground zero. Beatriz’s War is the start of a film culture, something as rare as the birth of a new nation, Luigi Acquisto. 

Imagine what it is like to live in a country that has never heard its language or seen the faces of its people on a screen. This first film, is full of pain but also courage, love, and the compulsion to tell our story, Bety Reis.

Cast Bio

Irim Tolentino is one of East Timor’s most talented and experienced actors. She co-founded the theatre group Bibi Bulak (Mad Goat) in 2001 and has appeared in many local East Timorese television programs and theatre productions. She is an author having published her first award winning short story in 2009. She is a co-writer of A Guerra da Beatriz. 

A Guerra da Beatriz is Augusta Soare’s first film. Her passion for performing grew out of her involvement in cultural youth groups in East Timor. Augusta has recently been awarded a scholarship to study English in Australia.

Jose Da Costa is East Timor's leading male actor. He has played major roles in award winning foreign productions such Answered by Fire (Australian/Canadian co-production) and Balibo, an Australian feature set in East Timor. 


Screenplay: Irim Tolentino & Luigi Acquisto
Co-Producers: Jose Da Costa & Nick Calpakdjian
Cinematographer: Valeriu Campan
Editor: Nick Calpakdjian 
Original Music: Osme Gonsalves & Danny Da Silva Lopes
Production Designer: Silvano Rodriges
1st Assistant Director: Lurdes Pereira & James Laidler
2nd Assistant Director: Jose Da Costa
Location Manager: Gaspar Sarmento
Sound Recordist: Glen Forster
Gaffer: Edward Tyrie
Producers: Stella Zammataro & Lurdes Pires
Production Company: FairTrade Films & Dili Film Works

Original Title: A Guerra da Beatriz / HD / 16:9/ Colour / 105 min / 5.1 / Tetun and Bahasa with English subtitles/ DCP & HDCAM available / East Timor & Australia 2013

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