Besides music festivals, Lisbon also has a lot of film festivals! To all those into filmmaking, especially independent films, IndieLisboa is unmissable. IndieLisboa is an international festival which occurs in the months of April and/or May (April 26th to May 6th this year). It’s incredibly diverse, dividing it’s presentations by various categories and venues. It has works of young indie directors on the big screens of Culturgest and retrospectives of established directors shown on the intimate screen of Cinemateca (without missing the ocasional party in-between).
This first article is about the principal competition categories they have, the International and the National Competitions, the two main events on the festival. The International Competitions are destined for feature films and shorts. All of them never before seen in Portugal. The National Competitions are organized like the International ones but, of course, just for films directed by portuguese filmmakers.
Official animation for the International Competition, done by Fine Arts (Lisbon) student Rui Gonçalves.
All the competing features are great! And you should see which interest you most, because there’s such variety that it really is up to your own taste. But there are some stand outs: Baronesa (Juliana Antunes, Brazil). A prize winner in many festivals, this film is a feminine look at femininity that doesn’t pull any punches; The Wild Boys (Bertrand Mandico, France), this feature film seems to be equals part fantastical, horrific and erotic, with strong undertones about gender identity; Person to Person (Dustin Defa, USA). A film with a plethora of characters and stories, that go from the mundane, to the more disturbing. It also has some known talents involved, like Michael Cera and Abi Jacobson.
Person to Person, by Dustin Defa (2017).
The shorts are more difficult to recommend, partly because many of them have garnered awards and also because they’re organized in packs of 4/5, that vary a lot, so you never just experience one. Still, the ones considered to be more required viewing are: Matria, (Álvaro Galego, Spain), winner of Sundance Film Festival’s Shorts Competition, about a determined woman, named Ramona; The Men Behind the Wall (Inés Moldavsky, Israel, Palestine), who won the Golden Bear with this short where she investigates men by finding them via Tinder; A Gentle Night (Qiu Yang, China), the winner of the Palme d’Or, that revolves around a mother searching for her missing daughter.
The Man Behind the Wall, by Inés Moldavsky (2017).
Although not as awarded has some of the international films, the National Competition still has a lot of great features and shorts to offer: Bostofrio, où el ciel rejoint la terre (Paulo Carneiro), where he visits and interviews the villagers of a small town where his family is rooted; Drvo (André Maia) about a kid and an old man who find comfort in each other's company during the winter.
Bostofrio, où el ciel rejoint la terre, by Paulo Carneiro (2018)
There are also curious shorts: Strange-Map (Jorge Gomes), where you’re taken on a tour of all the houses the director has lived in, which is very relatable; Via (Maria Ferreira) is a very interesting experimental animation that takes you on a trip around cities and routes like veins and arteries; Russa (João Salaviza and Ricardo Alves Jr.) talks about demolishing the past by following a woman that returns to her old neighborhood in Porto.
Via, by Maria Ferreira (2017).
These are just some of the amazing works you can see in IndieLisboa! They are spread all around Lisbon in different cinemas and some even play multiple times during the festival, so be sure to check the calendar and enjoy this indie experience!
Here are some other venues where the festival takes place:
Official animation for the Festival, done by Fine Arts (Lisbon) student and Itinari editor Vasco Casula.
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