Commercials as a path, with cinema as a destiny
by Vitor Pinto
28/09/2005 - Born in Lisbon in 1972, Marco Martins has been behind the lens since he was knee high to a grasshopper. "I belong to a generation that grew up with video cameras, and which made home movies with friends. I fell in love with the cinema long before going on to study it". For that reason, no particular fears when it came to choosing his path in life. The decision to study filmmaking at the Lisbon School of Filmmaking was a no-brainer. Following his graduation film, Mergulho no ano novo (1995), a winner at the Short Film Festival of Vila do Conde, he goes off to the United States to participate in screenplay writing and directing actors workshops. Back in Portugal, a new short film, 14 Segundos e um tico, no caminho para a escola (1999), and three more prizes: best film and best director at the 7th Badajoz Film Festival (Spain) and the Atlantic Axis Prize at the Festival of Ourense (Spain).
As production assistant, he collaborates with Wim Wenders on Lisbon Story (1994) and with Manoel de Oliveira on Le Couvent (1995) before becoming assistant director to João Canijo on Chaussures noires (1998).
Advertising shorts have enabled him to continue exploring new avenues behind the cameras. He founded the Ministério dos Filmes (Ministry of Film) production house, while continuing to work on scripts for full-length feature films.
Alice (2005) is his first full-length film. Shown at Cannes as part of the Directors’ Fortnight, the film ended up winning the Jeunes Regards Prize.