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LEFFEST ‘21 highlights Portuguese cinema

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Today more than ever, it is difficult, if not impossible, to give a stable stylistic definition of Portuguese cinema, a cinema that always resisted the domesticating factors of schools, movements, and “waves”. Perhaps the only limits one can impose on Portugal’s cinema production are ultimately the ones already provided by geography. And yet, decades of intense and varied cinematic production have established a fortunate disproportion between the country’s size and its significance in international arenas.

The great interest with which our filmmakers’ works are received both at home and overseas is reflected in LEFFEST’s programme - this year with five Portuguese authors whose idiosyncratic careers have earned them national and international recognition:

Joaquim Pinto
(b. 1957) and Nuno Leonel (b. 1969), a creative partnership of great significance to contemporary cinema. After the universal acclaim of the autobiographical work What Now? Remind Me (2013) that won the Special Jury and FIPRESCI prizes at Locarno Festival, the duo brings us their new, monumental trilogy Pathos Ethos Logos (2021), that will have its national premiere at LEFFEST;

Leonor Teles (b. 1992), the youngest director to win the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at Berlinale, which was given to her for the healthy insolence of Balada de um Batráquio (2016). Three of her films will be shown at LEFFEST – Gipsy Eyes (2012), Dogs Barking at Birds (2019) and the above-mentioned Balada de um Batráquio (2016) – in the context of a programme that celebrates Rom culture;

Rodrigo Areias (b. 1978), founder of the production company Bando à Parte and prolific artist whose surprising body of work already comprises more than two dozen titles, including short films, features and music videos. The director will present two films that provide us with clues to deepen our understanding of his dense personal mythology: Down by Life (2020) and his new documentary Arte de Memória (2021);

Henrique Pina (b. 1987), director and producer of documentaries and feature films, among which we can find the impressive spectacle of bodies Body-Buildings (2021), winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Dance Camera West Film Festival, in Los Angeles, and also the recent work that marks the 25th anniversary of Olga Roriz Company, Autopsy: Journey of a Creation(2021). Both films, along with the documentary Aires Mateus: Matter in Reverse(2017), will be shown at LEFFEST with the presence of Olga Roriz, Jonas Lopes and Lander Patrick.

These five names correspond to multiple ideas of cinema, each with unique reference points. We can, however, bring them together under one same artistic purpose: to renew the themes and approaches to Portuguese filmmaking. 

Tickets for these and other film sessions available soon.
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