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Program Highlights of the 14th Edition of LEFFEST - Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival

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LEFFEST – Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival announced the highlights of its program at today’s press conference. The festival will take place from the 13th to the 22nd of November in Lisbon and Sintra.

The premise for this year’s edition was the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Inspired by the imaginary of science fiction, of which this film remains the great paradigm, the program has been conceived in a particularly unusual moment of global history: a period of uncertainty which has come to challenge much of what we once took for granted.

Ten films have been announced for the Official Selection – In Competition, and several others have been selected to be screened Out of Competition and in the Special Screenings section. Among them, are the winners of Best Film Awards from Europe’s three major festivals that took place this year: Berlin, Venice and San Sebastián, as well as some of the most anticipated works of the year. In its 14th edition, LEFFEST will once again provide its audience with unique opportunities to watch some films that will not be released in theaters.

The jury will be composed by Peter Handke, one of the leading figures of Austrian and German-language literature; Frédéric Bonnaud, Director of the French Cinematheque; Cecilia Bengolea, dancer, choreographer and visual artist; Gabriel Abrantes, one of today’s most important young filmmakers and artists; and Neville Wakefield, art curator and writer. Five personalities who will attend the festival and take part in several events and debates with the audience.

This year’s section Tributes and Retrospectives will pay homage to the work of North-American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, by presenting an integral retrospective of his oeuvre; to Clément Cogitore, with several screenings of his feature and short films; to Wong Kar-Wai, whose restored work will be screened in 4K; and to the French Cinematheque, by screening rare restored films selected by Frédéric Bonnaud.

One could argue that the most important question to be raised about a film is not the obvious “what do we see” but “with whose eyes do we see what we see”. Which perspective does the camera assume and to whom does it belong? The thematic program “Confronting the Gaze”, curated by Alexey Artamonov, Denis Ruzaev and Ines Branco López, will pose this questions during the course of seven double screenings.

Going back to the central theme of this edition: the beginning of 2020 “broke the nexus of the world”, as philosopher José Gil wrote, when the event for which several scientists and thinkers had been warning us about, but which we did not expect, finally took place. Taking us by surprise, a worldwide pandemic has suddenly paralyzed the planet effects have been devastating for the arts and culture sectors. The symposium “The Arts and The Public in the Post-Pandemic World” intends to discuss and reflect upon these issues.

The second symposium of this year’s edition is organized in connection with the Celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of Sintra – UNESCO World Heritage Site. An important step towards the recognition of humanity's collective interests, the classification allowed for a renewed concern for the conservation of the cultural and natural elements of Sintra's landscape. This statute becomes particularly relevant at a time when human action is increasingly disastrous towards our past, present and future. But how can we reconcile the promotion of cultural heritage with the protection of the people who inhabit the city?

On its 14th edition, LEFFEST will once again present CinemART, a section dedicated to the exploration of cinema through its fusion with other arts. LEFFEST will present several other events such as “Noche de Ronda”, a special program organized by Salvador Sobral, and a concert by Orquestra Municipal de Sintra – D. Fernando II at the festival’s closing ceremony.

Among other guests, we will welcome filmmakers Paul Vecchiali, Christian Petzold, Mona Fastvold and Mathieu Amalric, actress Lilith Stangenberg and actor Jean-Philippe Puymartin.

See the photos of the press conference here.
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