"Serpentarius" selected to Viennale

28 August 2019
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“Serpentarius”, first feature film by director Carlos Conceição, will be part of Viennale's program, to be held from October 24th to November 6th, in Vienna, Austria.


Serpentarius” by Carlos Conceição, a Portuguese-Angolan co-production, represented by Agência - Portuguese Short Film Agency, had its world premiere at Berlinale Forum and was first exhibited in Portuguese territory at Curtas Vila do Conde where the author was Director in Focus. In the meantime, the film won the Nuove Visione Prize at Sicilia Queer in Italy, the Audience Award at the Burgas Film Festival in Bulgaria and is now selected for Viennale, the most important international film event in Austria as well as one of the most world's oldest and best known German-speaking festivals.


"Serpentarius" will be screened at part of the Viennale Features section, accompanied by films by Pedro Costa, Agnés Varda, Nadav Lapid or the Dardenne brothers. About this Austrian premiere, Viennale's programmer, Nico Marzano, wrote about the film on the event's webpage:


Carlos Conceição's first full length feature "Serpentarius" unfolds before our eyes as an hypnotic journey between memories and premonitory visions, and the idea of voyage as starting point for a personal and collective search. The film and the gaze of Carlos Conceição, a long-time collaborator of João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, is inextricably rooted in his personal journey, and that of his family, from Angola (where he is originally from) to Portugal. Through undefinable landscapes, haunting mythology and sci-fi ruins, the search for the director's mother and his origins begins. "Serpentarius" progressively takes shape as a cinematic alter ego that speaks of the act of leaving, setting out, exploring. Preoccupations such as colonialism, slavery and the relationship between the land and people who belong to that land are embedded in the idea of a spiritual quest. "Serpentarius" unfolds as an odyssey, an ancestral road movie, suspended between multiple dimensions that take us through the desert, ruins, history, future and all those places of life and death. However the serpentarium is also the place where snakes are bred, it is the job of those who carry them, the constellation from which it's possible to observe the world. As in a long stream of consciousness, "Serpentarius" is a personal and existential reflection relying on associations of ideas and spaces that plays with Proust, with our soul, in a continuous digression where in turn courted by ladies wearing eighteenth-century laces around their necks; passengers in a van or the Three Caravels; gunslingers in the saloons of the Wild West or astronauts looking for another dimension beyond space and time. What are we looking for ? Identity, belonging, tradition, roots represented by a mother left behind and whose absence keeps returning in dreams and memories yet as a physical, palpable and haunting presence.

“Party Day” selected to the New York Film Festival

23 August 2019
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"Party Day", the first short film by the Portuguese director Sofia Bost, was selected to the international competition of the New York Film Festival (NYFF), that takes place between 27th of September and 13th of October. The film will be screened as part of the International Program 1 - Shorts, described by a mixture of narrative and documentary that showcases bold, new films by emerging and established filmmakers working in international cinema today.

Produced by Uma Pedra no Sapato and promoted international by Agência - Portuguese Short Film Agency, "Party Day" had is international premiere at Semaine de la Critique of the Cannes Film Festival and is national premiere at Curtas Vila do Conde. "Party Day" follows Mena on the birthday of her daughter Clara, and has the participation of actresses Rita Martins, Melissa Matos, Teresa Madruga, Sandra Celas, Mariana Silva, Sara Gonçalves and Fernanda Neves.

The programers of the Shorts section describe the film: "A cash-strapped single mother is pulled into an unresolved family conflict as she struggles to host her daughter’s seventh birthday party. Sofia Bost’s 16mm-shot drama, filled with illuminating performances, renders a complicated depiction of motherhood and the inconsolable grievances inherited by each generation." 

“Black Sun” selected to TIFF

19 August 2019
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Sol Negro”, the short film by French-Portuguese director Maureen Fazendeiro, will have its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, in Canada, that will take place from September 5th to 15th.


Produced by O Som e a Fúria (Portugal) and Norte Productions (France) and promoted internationally by AGENCIA - Portuguese Short Film Agency, the film confronts images of a solar eclipse day in Lisbon and excerpts from a poem by Henri Michaux, read by French actress Delphine Seyrig.


“Sol Negro” is part of the TIFF's Wavelengths section, an exclusive avant-garde film section that highlights formal innovation and original cinematic expressions in the context of one of the world's largest and busiest film festivals. The programmers define the film on the festival's webpage: "Underscored by French film legend Delphine Seyrig’s evocative recitation of a Henri Michaux poem, Maureen Fazendeiro’s film is a mysterious, multi-textured portrait of eclipse spectators in Portugal".
Sol negro is my first film totally made in Portugal, the country I came to live in 2014 - says Maureen Fazendeiro - In March 2015, I gathered a small team, borrowed a camera and, using 16mm black and white film leftovers, I filmed the total eclipse of the sun, visible at 67% at the Lisbon's Astronomical Observatory. That day I collected a series of portraits of amazed spectators. When in 2019, I got financed for post-production, I was able to resume the editing interrupted for almost four years. It was about archeology of a film, made from fragments of images and sounds collected over time. I remembered a poem by Henri Michaux that speaks of an imagined country where there is only one sun per month, an event that creates a certain excitement in its inhabitants.

After “Motu Maeva”, DocLisboa award-winning documentary, “Sol Negro” is Maureen Fazendeiro's second film, which had its world premiere last July at the Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival competition.

"Dogs Barking at Birds" in Venice

25 July 2019
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"Dogs Barking at Birds" by Leonor Teles, will have its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival

"Dogs Barking at Birds" is the new short film by Portuguese director Leonor Teles, will have its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, that will take place from August 28 to September 7.

The film, selected to the Orizzonti Short Films Competition, portraits the summer days of Vicente and his family, forced to leave their house in downtown Porto, due to real estate speculation.

Produced by Uma Pedra no Sapato and promoted internationally by the AGENCIA – Portuguese Short Film Agency, "Dogs Barking at Birds", was entirely shot in the city of Porto. "It captures a city that is not mine, a place that is unknown to me and does not belong to me. It is nonetheless less personal than the previous films. The connection I created with the family I filmed remains and that seems to be the constant in my work: people and my relationship with them", says the director.

A film commissioned and financed by the Municipality of Porto within the scope of the project Cultura em Expansão.

After “Batrachian’s Ballad” (Golden Bear for Best Short Film at Berlinale 2016), this is the second short film by Leonor Teles, director who debuted at the commercial circuit earlier this year the long “Ashore” - Prix International de la SCAM at the Cinéma du Réel, Prix de la Ville d'Amiens at Festival d'Amiens (France) and Mejor Opera International Prima at Mar del Plata Festival (Argentina).

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