Born in Lamego, Portugal, in 1949. He studied film at the Portuguese National Conservatory. After working as a film critic, his first feature film was The Other One (1981). His filmography includes A Portuguese Farewell (1985), Hard Times (1987), Three Palm Trees (1994), Traffic (1998), Who Are You? (2001), The Woman who Believed She Was President of the United States (2003), The Fatalist (2005), The Book of Disquiet (2011), The Maias - Story of a Portuguese Family (2014), Cinema, Manoel de Oliveira and Me (2016) and Pilgrimage (2018), all screened at Mostra. In 2005, Botelho was part of the Jury of the 29th Mostra.