The 20th edition of the IndieLisboa Film Festival features a record number of films.


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Today marks the beginning of the 20th edition of the IndieLisboa Film Festival, which will feature a program of more than 300 films and a focus on the industry in order to position itself on the international stage.

In mid-April, Susana Santos Rodrigues, one of the festival’s three directors, reminded PPulse of the “predisposition of the programmers to seek new voices, new ways of doing things, and new ways of telling a story, aesthetically and formally.”

Susana Santos Rodrigues
Susana Santos Rodrigues

“I believe there is a prominent theme in the festivals we attended, and that theme is gender issues. Susana Santos Rodrigues stated, “It’s a theme that may have been present in previous years in a more subdued manner, but is more pronounced this year.”

In this context, we highlight the opening film, “Something You Said Last Night,” which transcends gender identity issues, and the premiere of “Orlando, My Political Biography,” by the Spanish essayist Paul B. Preciado, based on Virginia Woolf’s work of the same name and featuring trans and non-binary participants.

This year, a prize was created in collaboration with the Mutim – Women Workers of Moving Images association, as well as a laboratory to develop projects that “go against the stereotype of more conventional and stereotypical characters and stories in cinema.”

From this year’s program, the national competition will have more than twenty films, such as “Rosinha e outros bichos do mato”, by Marta Pessoa, “Índia”, Telmo Churro’s first feature film, the diptych “Mal Viver” and “Viver Mal”, by João Canijo, and the short films “Dildotectónica”, by Tomás Paula Marques, “Pátio do Carrasco”, by André Gil Mata, and “A febre de Maria João”, by brothers Afonso and Bernardo Rapazote.

Out of competition, the standout is “Primeira obra” (First Work) by Rui Simes, “a veteran documentarist who, after 40 years of trying, received support for his debut in fiction.”

The announced program also includes a focus on “Labor and the union movement” in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of April 25, with a selection of films by António Campos, Manoel de Oliveira, Harun Farocki, and Ben Russell.

According to Carlos Ramos, the 2024 edition of IndieLisboa will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the dictatorship, but all other details remain undetermined.

Still on the 20th edition, Susana Santos Rodrigues and Carlos Ramos emphasized the objective of strengthening the contact between cinema and audiovisual industry professionals.

“This year there is an increase in activities, there will be a co-production forum, and there is an increase in industry activities,” they explained, citing the recent Smart7, a network of seven European film festivals created to promote “the transnational circulation” of European films, as an illustration.

This year, IndieLisboa will once again occupy the So Jorge cinema, Culturgest, Cinemateca Portuguesa, and Cinema Ideal, as well as the Fernando Lopes Cinema – a cinema room at Universidade Lusófona – and the Penha de Franca swimming pool, where there will be three sessions where spectators can watch films while in the water.


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