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One year away from turning 30, and returning to its summer dates, Curtas Vila do Conde is back to theaters, occupying Vila do Conde’s Teatro Municipal, Auditório Municipal and Solar – Cinematic Art Gallery, from July 16 to 25. The festival reaffirms its commitment to a hybrid format that combines theater screenings in various locations in the country with a VoD outlet, thus allowing the expansion of both its Portuguese and international audiences. In this 2021 edition, cinema dilates time, expands temporalities, and declines chronologies and calendars. Anniversaries will be celebrated, centennials will be commemorated, and highly awaited movies will be premiered. But let’s take it one at a time.

As per usual, the International Competition gathers some of short film’s most renowned names worldwide and, at the same time, screens works by emerging filmmakers, in a continued commitment to aesthetic intersections in which cinema dialogues with other contemporary artistic fields. This year won’t be different: Bill Morrison, Virpi Suutari, Georges Schwizgebel, Guy Maddin, or duo Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca are some of the directors that return to Vila do Conde’s screens as part of this competition, which will feature a total of 30 short films. Other highlights include the return of Ana Elena Tejera, selected for the first edition of the New Voices sidebar in 2020, as well as the screening of the latest works by Zach Woods, Emily Wardill and Alice Rohrwacher.

Holding its pioneering status in the discovery of names that have come to prove themselves as major auteurs in contemporary cinema, Curtas makes the same commitment when it comes to the Portuguese Competition. A look at this film selection is a look at where contemporary Portuguese cinema is headed: collective traditions and individual stories, rurality and its landscapes, family and intimacy, with the social tensions implicit therein, and approaches that challenge any normative or genre constraints. The competition will feature works by returning filmmakers, such as Ana Moreira, Ico Costa, Leonor Noivo, Eduardo Brito, or Paulo Patrício; and others who have reached “major name” status, like Paolo Marinou-Blanco or Filipe Melo.

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