Besides the several competitions and special programmes, Curtas Vila do Conde will present, like prior editions, an In Focus director. This year, the retrospective is dedicated to the French directorQuentin Dupieux with the Portuguese premiere of three films: "Reality", "Wrong" and "Wrong Cops". In this section, Rubber (which premiered at Cannes in 2010) will also be screened.
Quentin Dupieux, also known in the music industry as Mr. Oizo, has a remarkable filmography in the last fifteen years, with a very peculiar style, articulating the European art film tradition with American movie genres.
Using dark humour, Dupieux focuses in maladjusted lead characters that try to fit in a world that doesn´t accept them. These characters’ dreadful solitude transforms the filmmaker’s sophisticated humour into absurd tragedies.
In “Rubber” (2010), a lonesome tire seems to start a revenge against the human race, leaving a community on the brink of a nervous breakdown. “Wrong” (2012) presents Dolph Springer, an American small town man whose dog is strangely kidnapped and it changes his life. “Wrong Cops” (2013) shows us the daily absurd story of an unethical group of cops. In “Reality” (2014) we follow a TV cameraman that wants to be a filmmaker but gets tangled in a vertigo of endless dreams.
Thus, Quentin Dupieux films are characterized by the absurd that emerges from seemingly trivial and day-to-day stories. Dupieux’s humour is sometimes sophisticated and other times plainly absurd. It develops a kind of post-modern iconoclasm confusing the viewers’ expectations. The great virtue in Dupieux’s films is to cause despair or laughter, showing how the contemporary world is, most of the times, naturally unintelligible. To enter in this narrative maze is, consequently, a bold move, but fully delightful as a cinema experience.
From the 4th to the 12th July, Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival will once more be the privileged window for the most recent productions in short film through its competitions: National, International, Experimental, Music Videos, Take One! and Curtinhas.
Portuguese cinema, despite its natural economic weaknesses, has given clear signs of a great creative vigour, showing its filmmakers possess a remarkable freedom. Curtas’ Portuguese Competitionpresents that creative freedom by a set of films that place Portuguese short films again on the international festivals’ radar. 2015 will be the year of filmmakers like Sandro Aguilar, Salomé Lamas, Filipa César, Jorge Quintela, João Rosas, Basil da Cunha or Luís Alves de Matos, all of them connected to Curtas Vila do Conde’s history.
The best National competition film will be awarded with the BPI Award, worth 2000 euros and the Pixel Bunker Award, worth 2500 euros in services. The SPA – Portuguese Authors Society, will award with 1500 euros the Portuguese film that receives the highest number of votes from the audience. The best Portuguese filmmaker will be appraised by Digimaster with an award worth 3000 euros in services.
In turn, Curtas Vila do Conde’s International Competition presents a remarkable diversity, both geographical and thematic, with films from Virgil Widrich, Bill Plympton, Antonin Peretjatko, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Sergei Loznitsa, amongst others.
The best film in this competition will win the Jameson Great Prize, worth 2000 euros. The best short film in each competing category will also be distinguished: Animation, Documentary and Fiction. The most voted film by the audience will receive the Niepoort Audience Award, worth 1000 euros. Still within the International Competition, the Best European Short Film will be announced. It includes the nomination for the European Film Awards, yearly organized by the European Film Academy.
The Experimental Competition will continue to defy conventions presenting artists and filmmakers who dare to look ahead. Curtas Vila do Conde’s selection offers an opportunity to rediscover the great authors of this genre, like Volker Schreiner, Johan Grimonprez, Peter Tscherkassky, Ken Jacobs, Johan Lurf, Bill Morrison, Jennifer Reeves, Louise & Jane Wilson, Jay Rosenblatt and Deborah Stratman. With a deluxe set like this the Teatro Municipal’s room, like in past years, will sell out. The best experimental film will be awarded with 750 euros.
The Music Video Competition returns to Curtas Vila do Conde in an exclusive Portuguese production format with artists like Clã, X-Wife, PZ, Gala Drop and Linda Martini. These films will win an entirely different dimension when displayed on the Teatro Municipal’s big screen. The best competing video will receive a 750 euros prize awarded by FNAC.
Exclusive for student films, the Take One! Competition will present a new generation of talents straight from film and audio-visual schools. The best film will receive three prizes: the Smiling Award, worth 1500 euros in equipment rental services sponsored by Smiling/Nova Imagem; the Restart Award consisting on a coupon for training and/or production and post-production means (equipment or technical spaces) worth 500 euros at Restart – Escola de Criatividade e Novas Tecnologias and the Agência da Curta Metragem Award, which will guarantee the film’s submission to an international film festivals circuit.
In Curtinhas Competition the jury, formed by 15 children with ages between 6 and 12, will vote for the best film. This film will be awarded a prize worth 1000 euros sponsored by Mar Shopping. This section of the Festival also has a play area and several workshops, allowing the youngsters to take part in a week of cinema with their family.
In addition, there will be a Canal + Spain acquisition award for a National Competition film. From the competing films, the cable channel TVCine & Séries (a Festival partner) will make a choice for acquisitions.
Hence, Curtas Vila do Conde’s different competitions will again ensure the Festival’s most diversified and frequented screenings with films of unquestionable quality, most of them a Portuguese premiere, that show the current state of the world and the best of what has been produced recently.