The Nothing Factory added to the Directors’ Fortnight
by Vitor Pinto
- “It’s about the apparent inability of people to come together and manage to change things,” states director Pedro Pinho about his feature debut
Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s feature debut, The Nothing Factory [+see also:
interview: Pedro Pinho
film profile], has been added to the line-up of the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sidebar, which unveiled the majority of its programme last week (read more). The feature will be shown as a “Special Screening”, the organisers announced yesterday evening.
The Nothing Factory “dissects and riffs on the subject of de-industrialisation, unemployment and the workers’ struggle, oscillating between intimate drama, social-realist comedy and the occasional musical number,” stated General Delegate Édouard Waintrop.
This will be Pinho’s first time on the Croisette, with a film “about the apparent inability of people to come together and manage to change things. It is about the impotence to act together on what is happening all around,” the director explained to Portuguese news agency Lusa.
While it is not about the Portuguese economic crisis and the presence of the troika in Portugal – a topical backdrop in local cinema in the last few years, present in titles ranging from Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights [+see also:
interview: Miguel Gomes
film profile] trilogy to Marco Martins’ latest film, Saint George [+see also:
Q&A: Marco Martins
film profile] – The Nothing Factory is nevertheless tainted by that particular period of the country’s recent history.
Produced by Terratreme, the film was shot between 2014 and 2015, and tells the story of a group of workers trying to save a factory that is to be relocated. With a cast of both professional and non-professional actors, the movie is, in Pinho’s words, “a very collective film” featuring a script co-written by Leonor Noivo, Tiago Hespanha and Luísa Homem, based on the testimonies of real-life workers.
Pinho previously directed the mid-length film Um fim do mundo, screened at the Berlinale in 2013, and the documentaries Bab Sebta (2008) and As cidades e as trocas [+see also:
film profile] (2014), co-helmed by Luísa Homem.
The Nothing Factory is the latest Portuguese title to be announced for Cannes. All of the others have been short films: Marta Mateus’ Farpões, baldios and Laura Gonçalves e Xá’s Água mole are also part of the Directors’ Fortnight, while Carlos Conceição will be back in the Critics’ Week three years after Boa Noite Cinderela with a new short entitled Coelho Mau.
The Directors’ Fortnight unspools from 18-28 May.
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