Short Film Day


This year's edition kicks off with the return of João Gonzalez, a director who Curtas has followed from his first school films to "Ice Merchants", which won an award at Cannes and was nominated for an Oscar for best animation. In a session featuring his short films and some personal choices, Gonzalez will perform the soundtrack to his films live for the first time. Rodrigo Areias also returns to the festival to present his new film, "A Pedra Sonha Dar Flor", about the work of Raul Brandão, with live music by Dada Garbeck. Another moment to look forward to is the recreation of the sound universe of Chris Marker's "La Jetée" by Filipe Melo and João Pereira, with narration by Beatriz Batarda.

Rafael Toral will present his album "Spectral Evolution", accompanied by a visual environment created by emerging artists in residence at Curtas. HHY & The Macumbas, in collaboration with the Lunar Ring collective, will present a concert combining music and images generated by artificial intelligence. Composer Lula Pena will also be present at the festival, in a musical performance that will include plants and 16mm films, in an encounter at Casa do Xisto that promises to leave a mark on viewers' memories.

12 JUL · 8 PM

João Gonzalez
"Ice Merchants", "Nestor", "The Voyager" & more

Director João Gonzalez, who made his debut at Curtas Vila do Conde in 2017 in the Take One! competition (with the film “The Voyager”), and made his return in 2019 (with the film “Nestor”), has known, since 2022, a mediatic meteoric rise, with his film “Ice Merchants” picking up various Awards, starting in his debut at the Cannes Film Festival and all the way to the American Academy Oscars ceremony as one of the five nominees for Best Animated Short.

Classically trained on the piano, the director frequently combines his musical ability with his auteur animation, taking up the role of composer, and occasionally the instrumentalist in his films.

This session is a live performance by João Gonzalez, in which he will revisit, for the first time, “Ice Merchants”. In this session, his films “The Voyager” and “Nestor” will be accompanied by “Le ravissement de Frank N. Stein”, “Father and Daughter” and “Goodbye Jérôme!”, which will be presented with an alternative soundtrack composed and played live by the director. 


Dada Garbeck

Dada Garbeck 

14 JUL · 5.30 PM

Dada Garbeck

"The Stone Dreams To Blossom

(A Pedra Sonha Dar Flor)"

Returning to the festival, Rodrigo Areias is presenting his new film in a national preview, "The Stone Dreams To Blossom", about the work of journalist and writer Raul Brandão, which will be presented with a live musical piece by the musician from Guimarães Dada Garbeck.

Dada Garbeck, who has so far developed various artistic works all over the world, is the alter ego of Rui Souza, composer (he has been responsible for creations for both theatre and cinema, and his involvement in community projects is also noteworthy) and musician (he has released three albums: "The Ever Coming", "Vox Humana" and "Cosmophonia"). In his work, the voice and the word take centre stage in a kind of epic narrative, summoning a certain degree of ancestry through archaic orality and a glimpse of research into traditional music.

He is currently the musical director of the Didascália Theatre as well as the artistic creator of the Murmurinho community project, in the context of the MUMA festival on the island of Faial.


16 JUL · 11.30 PM

Rafael Toral

"Spectral Evolution"

As a musician, producer and composer, Rafael Toral has been involved, at different stages of his life, with rock, ambient, contemporary, electronic and jazz cultures. In the early 1990s, he recorded internationally acclaimed albums such as "Sound Mind Sound Body" (1994), "Wave Field" (1995) and "Chasing Sonic Booms" (1996), essential works of guitar exploration that earned Toral great prominence abroad and recognition from names such as Phill Niblock, Sonic Youth and Jim O'Rourke. In the 2000s, he launched a project in which, over the course of 15 years, he developed an approach to electronic music that took him away from the instrument that had brought him international recognition. After directing various ensembles, in 2016 he inaugurated the ensemble he directed until 2023, the Space Quartet. 

The result of three years of experimentation and recording, in which the knowledge of more than three decades of musical research is synthesised, "Spectral Evolution" is the quintessential album, which marks Rafael Toral's return to the guitar, and which will be presented with a visual environment composed specifically for the composer's music, the result of an "open call" aimed at emerging video and film artists, created in an artistic residency at Curtas' STEREO laboratories, in partnership with ESMAD.


Rafael Toral

Rafael Toral | Spectral Evolution


Lula Pena | Telegram

17 JUL · 11 PM

Lula Pena

EcoLab 16mm

In the alchemical process of plant-based development of the 16mm films, an experimental component of sound language is discovered that the apparently mute plant world can contain within itself. A mutual rapprochement takes place through the auscultation of its biofeedback, its internal electrical impulses and responses to external stimuli, which are musically translated by the artist Lula Pena, in a gesture that highlights the organic and acoustic interconnections between the ISOteric and the ESOteric.

In this way, a poetic duet of ephemeral listening-composition emerges in real time, blurring the boundary between the human and the non-human, thus also revealed.

[musical performance]

19 JUL · 11.30 PM

Filipe Melo, João Pereira + Beatriz Batarda

"La Jetée"

Filipe Melo and João Pereira recreate the sound universe for Chris Marker's emblematic work in a special session that also features narration by Beatriz Batarda. 

«When this invitation came up to cross music with cinema, the choice of this film was very intuitive and practically immediate. In "La Jetée", the immobility of the images contrasts with the enormous poetic force and dynamism of the narrative, posing a huge question mark over the very concept of mise-en-scéne. The cyclical nature, experimental nature and aesthetic modernity, as well as the space it gives the viewer, offer the ideal canvas for recreating the film's sound universe and hearing the story retold in Beatriz Batarda's voice.»

Filipe Melo



Filipe Melo, João Pereira e Beatriz Batarda | La Jetée


HHY & The Macumbas

20 JUL · 10.30 PM

HHY & The Macumbas + Lunar Ring

On the threshold where music meets the machine, a unique collaboration emerges between HHY & The Macumbas and the generative art collective anchored in Artificial Intelligence, Lunar Ring. This dialogue will be unveiled at Curtas Vila do Conde, where an audiovisual tapestry will be generated in real time that transcends the boundaries between the organic and the synthetic, combining an investigation of the limits of rhythm with an exploration of the interstices of mechanised perception.

HHY & The Macumbas are an enigmatic anomaly of psychedelic sounds. Hypnotic melodic cycles, percussive rhythms that distort time, space and echoes that extend towards the outer margins of perception can be heard throughout their intense discography, spanning 15 years and 4 albums. The northern collective will present an unrepeatable concert that will showcase the potential of improvisation and spontaneity.


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International Film Festival

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