Vila do Conde primed to kick off
by Laurence Boyce
- The annual Portuguese celebration of short films promises to provide its customary cutting-edge examination of cinema, art and music
Now in its 26th year, Curtas Vila do Conde has carved itself a reputation as being one of the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking festivals on the short-film circuit. With a focus on films that sit at the crossroads between cinema and art, the festival has welcomed a number of famous national auteurs – amongst them Miguel Gomes and Manoel de Oliveira – alongside a number of renowned international directors, including Gus Van Sant, Olivier Assayas and Roy Andersson.
This year promises to be no different, as the festival will kick off with the national premiere of the Cannes Critics’ Week winner Diamantino [+see also:
interview: Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Sc…
film profile], directed by Gabriel Abrantes. Abrantes will return to the festival with a film that is a strange and beautiful mash-up of genres including comedy, drama and science fiction and seems a natural extension of the many award-winning shorts he has previously presented at the festival, including The Hunchback (2017, co-directed with Ben Rivers) and A Brief History of Princess X (2016). Also honoured will be French director Yann Gonzalez, who – alongside a screening of his film Knife + Heart [+see also:
interview: Yann Gonzalez
film profile] – will present a midnight movie carte blanche of weird and wonderful shorts.
The festival’s International Competition will include a mixture of mid-length and short films. Included in the selection is The Rare Event (directed by Ben Russell and Ben Rivers), a playful take on what seems like a serious documentary on structuralist philosophy, and Ultra Pulpe, the latest film by The Wild Boys [+see also:
interview: Bertrand Mandico
film profile] director Bertrand Mandico. Yorgos Zois – the Greek director behind such popular festival films as Casus Belli – will also return to the gathering with Third Kind, a short that mixes science-fiction with social and political concerns. The festival’s Experimental Competition will include Screen by experimental short-film legends Matthias Müller and Cristoph Girardet.
The Portuguese section will showcase some of the best domestic shorts, and with Portugal having something of a golden age of short filmmaking (with Portuguese shorts taking a Golden Bear at Berlin in 2016 and 2017), the selection promises to bring forth some excellent films. Other competition sections include Take One!, a selection of shorts originating from film schools, and a selection of music videos.
The festival will also provide a nomination for the European Film Awards with a short being put forward for the EFA Award for Best Short.
Outside of the competitions, the festival will provide a focus on Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, with screenings of his features and shorts, and a panorama of European Short Cinema with collections from the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, France and the UK. The Stereo section combines both music and cinema, while New Spain will bring together seven emerging Spanish artists in an exhibition at the Solar Gallery of Cinematic Art.
Vila do Conde will run from 14-22 July. For more information on the festival competitions, please click here.
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