Filmville proudly announces UTOPIA – the Fourth UK Portuguese Film Festival. Showcasing an exciting international line-up selected around the thematic of Film, Memory and Landscape, this is the most ambitious UKPFF yet, expanded to include mostly recent productions and emerging talent. The programme combines contemporary works by renowned directors such as London Film Festival habitués Zézé Gamboa (The Hero) and João Pedro Rodrigues (Two Drifters), along with productions by new directors Portuguese Salomé Lamas and Brazilian Marcelo Lordello. The selection weaves together a cross-cultural narrative of surprising connections, presenting a rare opportunity to discover more about the artistic and cultural singularity of production from countries such as Angola, Portugal, Guinea Bissau and Brazil.
Among this year’s festival selection is Emmy Award-nominated Brazilian actor Lázaro Ramos, who plays ‘Joãozinho’ in Zezé Gamboa’s The Great Kilapy – a witty portrait of the last decade of Portuguese rule in Angola. In association with their Pop: Images of Desire, Barbican Cinema will be showing a one-off special archive session from Portuguese New Cinema pioneer Antonio da Cunha Telles. His first feature The Circle stood out for its unusual format and thorough photography. Other highlights are the playfully over-baked melodrama about an ill-fated preoperative transsexual in João Pedro Rodrigues and João Guerra da Mata’s (To Die Like a Man) The Last Time I Saw Macao, which received Special Mention at the Locarno International Film Festival 2012 and Best Debut with honorable mention at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, João Viana’s The Battle of Tabato, both showing at ICA. Best First Feature and Best National Film at Doclisboa 2012 Salomé Lamas’ No Man’s Land reveals the shocking story behind the scenes of a hit man’s life in the Portuguese colonial war era.
Once again in partnership with TAP airlines, the festival is offering two return flights to Portugal. The winners will be announced by Christmas. The Portuguese Embassy in London and Instituto Camões in Portugal support the event.
WED 27 NOV 18h20
The Great Kilapy (O Grande Kilapy)
Angola 2011 Dir Zézé Gamboa 100′
The session will be followed by a screentalk with director Zézé Gamboa
Zézé Gamboa’s sardonic historical drama follows a good-hearted, politically apathetic conman who, on the eve of the Angolan independence in the mid-1970s, pulls off a massive swindle at the expense of the Portuguese colonial administration – and soon after finds himself hailed as a national liberation hero.
THU 28 NOV 18h20
They’ll be back (Eles voltam)
Brazil 2012 Dir Marcelo Lordello 100′
The session will be followed by a screentalk with director Marcelo Lordello
Marcelo Lordello’s directorial debut narrates an episode in the life of a white upper-middle-class Brazilian teenager, who, gone missing from her parents, begins a journey through a series of different social and ethnic realities in contemporary Brazil. Best film at the Brasilia Festival of Brazilian Film in 2012 and Tiger Award nominee at Rotterdam International Film Festival 2012.
SAT 30 NOV 18h30
No Man’s Land (Terra de Ninguém)
Portugal 2012 Dir Salomé Lamas 72′
The session will be followed by a screentalk with director Salomé Lamas
Best First Feature and Best National Film at Doclisboa 2012, No Man’s Land is a poignant, interview-based documentary about a man who worked as a soldier, mercenary and contracted hit man from the period of the Portuguese colonial war (1961-74) until the 1990s, disconcertingly in collaboration with top governmental agencies.
SUN 01 DEC 18h30
Brazil 2013 Dir Gabriel Mascaro 76′
Gabriel Mascaro’s documentary is a tragicomic yet intimate portrait of a group of housemaids and their work with families across a wide social spectrum. The film is shot by the families’ teenage children following the director’s instructions, allowing for an unusual and insightful perspective on the hard lives of these women and the roles they play in each household.
TUE 03 DEC 18h30
The Last Time I Saw Macao (A última vez que vi Macau)
Portugal 2012 Dir João Pedro Rodrigues and João Guerra da Mata 85′
The session will be followed by a screentalk with director João Pedro Rodrigues
Part memoir, part city symphony, part noirish B-movie adventure, this new feature from acclaimed filmmaking duo João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata (To Die Like a Man) is a sensual, shape-shifting ode to one of the world’s most mythic, alluring and exotic cities. Special Mention at the Locarno International Film Festival 2012.
WED 04 DEC 18h30
The Circle (O Cerco)
Portugal 1970 Dir António da Cunha Telles 111′
A glance at the world of advertising in the late 60s, in which beautiful women strive for independence but fall pray to a society arrogated by men. This is the story of Marta (Maria Cabral), a young girl wishing to leave her husband in search of her true identity. A landmark of Portuguese New Wave Cinema, The Circle was sold out for three months when it was first released.
THU 05 DEC 18h30
The Battle of Tabato (A Batalha de Tabatô)
Guinea-Bissau/Portugal 2013, Dir João Viana 78′
The session will be followed by a screentalk with director João Viana
First-time feature director João Viana explores music, sorcery and post-colonial angst in Guinea-Bissau in this fable-like drama, which won him Best Debut with honorable mention at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. Much like Tabu, The Battle of Tabato finds a Portuguese filmmaker reflecting on his nation’s imperial legacy in Africa, using stylish monochrome visuals and a playful fairytale-like narrative. However, unlike Tabu’s director Miguel Gomes, self-produced first-timer João Viana tells a contemporary story here, featuring native Africans as his main protagonists.
FRI 06 DEC 18h20
All is Well (Por aqui tudo bem)
Angola 2011 Dir Pocas Pascoal 96′
Directed by the Angolan Pocas Pascoal, All is Well won Best Narrative Film at the 2012 edition of the LA Film Festival. The film follows two Angolan sisters as they flee conflict in their homeland and start a new life in Lisbon, where they struggle to survive on the streets. As the jury of the LAFF stated, filmmaker Pocas Pascoal has transformed her personal story of exile from Angola into a deeply affecting cinematic drama.
SUN 08 DEC 18h30
Bird of Prey and other shorts by João Nicolau
The screening will be followed by a screen talk with João Nicolau
Bird of Prey (Rapace) Portugal 2006 25′
Multi-award winning short (Best Short at Entrevues and Milan Film Festival), Rapace is a witty, surrealist coming-of-age tale, depicting the apathetic life-style of young middle-class students in contemporary Portugal.
Song of Love and Health (Canção de Amor e Saúde) Portugal 2009 35′
This is the story of the only employee in the Morais Key Cutting shop, João. His daily routine is broken by the arrival of Marta, a Fine Art student who brings an unusual request. The key João cuts for her opens wide more than a single door.
The Gift of Tears (O Dom das Lágrimas) Portugal 2012 27′
Commissioned by Guimarães 2012 – European Capital of Culture, The Gift of Tears tells the story of an encounter between a princess and a hunter. An iconographic and fantastical journey immersed in the symbols of Portuguese history.
A Wild Goose Chase (Gambozinos) Portugal 2013 18′
Winner of the Illy Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2013, the eccentric A Wild Goose Chase tells the story of a 10 year-old boy who struggles with the trials and tribulations of life through the course of summer camp. Troubled by young thugs and rejected by the girl of his dreams, he finds that in the forest the mythical “wild haggis” will not threaten him.
(All films in Portuguese with English subtitles)
Ciné Lumière (£10, £8 con)
17 Queensberry Place SW7 2DT
+44 (0) 20 7871 3515
Barbican Cinema (£11.50, £10.50 con)
Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
+44 (0) 20 7638 8891
ICA (£10, £8 con)
12 Carlton House Terrace SW1Y 5AH
+44 (0) 20 7766 1452
Genesis Cinema (£8.50)
93-95 Mile End Rd E1 4UJ
+44 (0) 20 7780 2000