Monstra film festival celebrates 50 years of the April Revolution

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This year’s Monstra – Lisbon Animation Festival takes place under the theme of freedom of expression, in association with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the April 1974 Revolution, it was announced today.

The festival dedicated to animated cinema takes place from March 7 to 17 and the program, revealed today by the director, Fernando Galrito, includes at least two moments associated with the ephemeris of the ‘Carnation Revolution’.

The premiere of “The Revolution” is scheduled, a collective film signed by students from animation schools around the world, which “reveals how they see a democratic revolution today” and which will be screened to live music.

Another moment of celebration will be a debate with designers Cristina Sampaio, André Carrilho, Nuno Saraiva and José Bandeira, and critic Pedro Mexia.

This year, Monstra will screen around 400 films, with Ireland as the country in the spotlight, namely with a retrospective dedicated to director Tom Moore, who has been invited to Lisbon, and a tribute to filmmaker Aidan Hickey.

In this overview of Irish animation, films from recent studios will be shown, including Paper Panther, Triggerfish and Barley Films.

The films “Leonardo the Inventor”, by Jim Copobianco and Pierre-Luc Granjon, and “Puffin Rock and the new friends”, by Jeremy Pucell, are due to be premiered.

The feature film competition will feature seven films, including “Mataram o pianista” (They killed the pianist), a Portuguese co-production by Animanostra and directed by Spaniards Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, who will also be in Lisbon.

Monstra will also host the premiere of “Robot Dreams – Unlikely Friends”, a film by Spain’s Pablo Berger that is nominated for an Oscar.

Eleven films from directors such as Sara Naves, Marta Monteiro, André Ruivo, Nuno Amorim and Bruno Carnide are in the competition for the Vasco Granja Prize for Portuguese short films.

The premieres include the series “Alice’s Diary”, by Diogo Viegas, produced by Sardinha em Lata, aimed at pre-school audiences and scheduled to be shown in Portugal, Spain and Brazil, and the short film “The Girl with the Busy Eyes”, by André Carrilho, based on an illustrated album of the same name.

Monstra will be centered at Cinema São Jorge, but will once again be programmed at other venues, such as the Cinemateca Portuguesa, the Fernando Lopes cinema and the Museu da Marioneta, where the exhibition “Três Famílias” will be on display.

This exhibition, which opens on February 15, reveals the backstage of three feature films based on family stories: “Interdict on Dogs and Italians”, by Alain Ughetto, “The Family Portrait”, by Lea Vidakovic, and “Every day that passes…”, by Emanuel Nevado.

The entire program will be available at monstrafestival.com.

Regarding the 2023 edition, Fernando Galrito said that Monstra had 64,382 spectators, almost 40,000 of whom attended “Monstrinha” sessions for school audiences.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi, CEO and founder of Portugal Pulse, has led career that spans multiple continents and industries. Born in Paris and later immigrating to Tel Aviv, Israel, Moti's background uniquely positions him at the intersection of European and Middle Eastern cultures. He holds a Law License from Ono College, reflecting his multifaceted interests in law, media, technology, and culture.    Moti's love affair with Portugal began in 2016 when he founded EASY NATIONALITY, an immigration office focused on aiding the Sephardic community in the wake of Portugal's law of return for Sephardic Jews. This endeavor demonstrated his commitment to creating meaningful social and cultural bridges.    In 2018, he launched Hadshot Portugal, the first-ever news website about Portugal in Hebrew. Recognizing the importance of bringing Portuguese culture and news to a broader audience, Moti took the step of immigrating to Lisbon in 2023, where he founded both Portugal Pulse and Portugal France. These platforms aim to offer comprehensive coverage of Portuguese news, events, and culture to the English and French-speaking worlds, respectively.    Moti's vision extends beyond news dissemination. He aspires to be an ambassador for Portuguese culture and to strengthen the connections among Portuguese diaspora communities worldwide. In pursuit of this ambitious goal, Moti founded Aliança Portugueses in 2021. Through this initiative, he aims to bring together Portuguese communities, creating a network of individuals and organizations bound by their love for Portugal.

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