Porto/Post/Doc: a new festival is born
by Vitor Pinto
- The latest films by Pedro Costa and Manoel de Oliveira are among the titles set to screen in a new showcase that focuses on the blurred boundaries between reality and fiction
The first edition of Porto/Post/Doc will take place from 4-13 December at three venues in downtown Porto. It promises to screen cutting-edge documentaries whilst also contributing to the city’s growing cultural effervescence.
Porto/Post/Doc, which aims to show and reflect on the hybrid trend of mixing fiction and reality in the documentary genre, was presented last Friday at a press conference that saw festival director Dário de Oliveira (who chaired the Vila do Conde Short Film Festival for several years) join city councillor Paulo Cunha e Silva, film theorist Daniel Ribas and director Pedro Neves.
The line-up includes about 50 titles contained within five sections and several special screenings. Twelve features will be duking it out in the main competition section – a selection of docs that, according to de Oliveira, “reinforces the political aspect of the documentary genre and its most direct connection with human conflicts”.
Among the international features in competition are 9999 [+see also:
film profile] by Ellen Vermeulen (Belgium), The Shelter [+see also:
interview: Fernand Melgar
film profile] by Fernand Melgar (Switzerland), Atlas by Antoine D’Agata (France), Danger Dave by Philippe Petit (France), Letters to Max [+see also:
film profile] by Eric Baudelaire (France), Fog [+see also:
film profile] by Nicole Vögele (Germany), Waiting for August by Teodora Ana Mihai (Belgium/Romania), Our Terrible Country by duo Mohammad Ali and Ziad Homsi (Syria/Lebanon), and Storm Children – Book One by Lav Diaz (The Philippines).
The competition section is rounded off by three Portuguese titles seen recently at DocLisboa: Luísa Homem and Pedro Pinho’s Terratreme production Trading Cities, João Pedro Plácido’s (Be)Longing and Manuel Mozos’ poignant tribute to the former Portuguese Film Museum director, João Bénard da Costa – Others Will Love the Things I Loved (read the review).
The “Persona” sidebar will focus on human rights and will screen one of the most potentially interesting titles of the festival, Acima das Nossas Possibilidades (lit. “Beyond our Means”). Directed by Pedro Neves, the film is part of a larger project that also includes the work of eight photographers as they portray the devastating consequences of the Troika’s policies on Portuguese society.
On a lighter note, the “Transmission” section will focus on the relationship between music and moving images, boasting a programme of concerts and music documentaries.
Manoel de Oliveira, who will turn 106 on 11 December, will have (yet) another tribute dedicated to him, as the festival will show his latest short film, The Old Man of Belem (see the news), first unveiled at the most recent Venice Film Festival. Another big name in Portuguese Cinema, Pedro Costa, will also see his Locarno-awarded film, Horse Money [+see also:
film profile], premiere at Porto/Post/Doc in the same week as it is released in local theatres.
To round off the film line-up, the festival is also organising a seminar entitled “Where Is the Real?”. After all, as Cunha e Silva wittily mentioned during the press conference, “There is nothing more unreal than the real.” Moderated by Daniel Ribas, the seminar will bring together directors, sociologists, lecturers and geographers to debate the core theme of Porto/Post/Doc: the contemporary hybridisation of documentary and fiction. The potential conclusions will serve as the basis of a written manifesto for the festival.
Expectations are high about this brand-new gathering, especially as its spirit will continue on well after its closing night on 13 December, through monthly film sessions organised from 2015 onwards. Besides a festival and a cine-club, Porto/Post/Doc is also working to launch its production branch with two documentaries. One will focus on Porto's post-punk scene and the other on the city’s lower-class neighbourhoods, to be directed by the Cannes- and Berlin-winning director João Salaviza.