It is a great pleasure for us to present this tribute programme of short films from Portugal. Four programmes that represent the rich cinematic history of Portugal and present exciting new filmmakers.
For many years we have admired and participated in sister festivals in Portugal. The Vila do Conde Short Film Festival, based in the north of Portugal has for many years been a steadfast proponent of Portuguese short films and innovative cinema. In more recent times, the capital city’s IndieLisboa festival, has been distinguishing itself with its strong aesthetic of independent cinema and cinema culture. Through these festivals we were introduced to the richness of Portuguese cinema and to Portuguese culture.
The most celebrated Portuguese director is the great Manoel de Oliveira who, extraordinarily, at the age of 102 is still directing – his The Strange Case of Angelica was screened at Cannes this year! We present a rare opportunity to see de Oliveira’s first film Labour On The River Douro (1931) and The Hunt (1963). Other films worth noting are Passeio Com Johnny Guitar, the only short film directed by the most eccentric and often controversial of Portuguese directors, poet-provocateur João César Monteiro, who died in 2003, and the 2009 Palme d’Or winner Arena directed by João Salaviza. We also present a new generation of exciting short filmmakers – Sandro Aguilar, Miguel Gomes, Joao Nicolau, Claudia Varejao and Pedro Serrazina amongst others.
We are grateful to our partners for their contribution in presenting four special programmes of the best ,short films produced in Portugal, from 1931 to 2010.
The knowledgeable expertise of Miguel Valverde of Indielisboa has been invaluable in composing the tribute. Salette Ramalho and the Portuguese Short Film Agency, which this year celebrates it’s 10th anniversary, gave generous help and support in sourcing films. Cinemateca Portuguesa have provided rare prints to us, for which we are grateful. We have also been fortunate in enlisting Fernanda Silva, one of the first Managers of the Portuguese Short Film Agency and now resident in Cork, to coordinate and curate the programmes.
Finally our thanks to the Embassy of Portugal and Tourism Board of Portugal for their encouragement and support of the project.