Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival

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Rom Culture Celebration

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With this special program, LEFFEST honors and celebrates Roma culture in all its artistic expressions, from dance to literature, cinema to music, and visual arts. We will travel from the Iberian Peninsula to Eastern Europe to discover the richness and deep diversity of this culture, which includes gypsies, sintis, manouche, yeniche, caló.

We cannot ignore the fact that the memory of the Roma people has been and continues to be crossed by a long history of discrimination, segregation and genocide. It was also in this bloody soil that infinite artistic expressions flourished and continue to flourish, which, in the 21st century, are still not properly recognized or publicized as they fully deserve.

On the contrary, instead of moving towards an egalitarian recognition, we see that xenophobic hatred is once again taking over political discourse, to the point of even becoming an electoral argument.

Alarmed by this context, at LEFFEST we propose to counteract this movement and invert the discourse. We want to spread and deepen knowledge about the Roma people and their cultural manifestations, which, for centuries and until today, have nourished, influenced and enriched the so-called European culture.

Therefore, we designed this program, which materializes as a set of unique events. We begin with five emblematic concerts showcasing the musical variety of the Roma culture and the way it merged with local cultures: flamenco music, with the famous master Josémi Carmona and his trio, which will have as guest the great Pepe Habichuela, and a show by today's greatest dancer, Farruquito; Romanian music with the group Taraf de Caliu, a new project by the mythical Taraf de Háïdouks, acclaimed as one of the best gypsy music groups in the world; Mónika Lakatos, Hungarian singer and first Roma artist to receive the prestigious WOMEX award; Ricardo Ribeiro, famous Portuguese fado singer who recognizes Rom music as one of the influences on his singing; and, finally, Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra, at the festival's closing session.

We will organize six historical debates, each focusing on a specific moment: 1) from Al-Andaluz to “Gran Redada” in 1749; 2) the persecution and genocide of Roma people by the Nazis and during World War II; 3) the current situation in Portugal; 4) Flamenco: heritage and persecution; and, finally, 5) being a Romani woman artist.

We will also present, at MU.SA, in Sintra, and for the first time in Portugal, an exhibition of the works of the Austrian Roman painter and writer Ceija Stojka. In the context of the exhibition, we will also have readings of her texts and the presentation of two films about her, by Karin Berger, who will also be present.

Finally, the program will feature a cycle of about twenty films, followed by conversations with special guests, including directors Tony Gatlif, Emir Kusturika, Leonor Teles, and also Michael, Carmen and Dolores Chaplin, who are currently preparing a film about the rom origins of Charlie Chaplin, which they will be talking about at the festival. And still many surprises…

Special thanks to Maria Gil and Bruno Gonçalves, for their collaboration within the scope of this program.

Films Cycle

Tony Gatlif Tribute
Presented by the director.

SAFE JOURNEY
1993

VENGO
2000

THE CRAZY STRANGER
1997

And still in preview:
TOM MEDINA
2021

THE KID
by Charlie Chaplin, 1921

For its 100th anniversary, a new 4K digital version of “The Kid”, with an introduction by Michael, Carmen and Dolores Chaplin, who are preparing a film about Charlie Chaplin's Rom origins. A teaser of said film will be shown at the festival firsthand.

TIME OF THE GYPSIES
by Emir Kusturica, 1988
Presented by the director


Presented by Leonor Teles:
DOGS BARKING AT BIRDS

by Leonor Teles, 2019

BALADA DE UM BATRÁQUIO
by Leonor Teles, 2016

GYPSI EYES
by Leonor Teles, 2012


TARAF, TRÊS CONTOS E UMA BALADA
by Luciana Fina e Olga Ramos, 2003

THE COUNTRY DOCTOR
by Katariina Lillqvist, 1996

THE ROMANY MIRROR
by Katariina Lillqvist, 2001

ME, MY GIPSY FAMILY AND WOODY ALLEN
by Laura Halilovic, 2009
Presented by the director

LOS TARANTOS
by Francisco Rovira Beleta, 1963

I EVEN MET HAPPY GYPSIES
by Aleksandar Petrovic, 1967

ROSE TINTED DREAMS
by Dusan Hanák, 1977

TRIANA PURA Y PURA
by Ricardo Pachón, 2013
Followed by a debate

EAT YOUR BONES
by Jean-Charles Hue, 2014

AFERIM!
by Radu Jude, 2015

BEING GIPSY
by Peter Nestler, 1970
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