15 years of free cinema

Reaching 15th edition, IndieLisboa seizes the opportunity to reflect on the path taken up to now and on the paths it wishes to take in the coming years. If we take a very positive view of the consolidated way in which IndieLisboa has long been part of the group of major national festivals and has a relevant role also in the international festival circuit more attentive to the renewal of the forms of cinema, we also do not fail to feel that the changes and the current challenges film festivals face are enormous and compel us to work permanently to question our ideas and models, which is clearly expressed in various ways in this edition.

Without feeling the need to mark the 15th anniversary with specific celebratory initiatives, this edition was prepared with the aim of continuing to make IndieLisboa a great celebration of cinema permanently open to formal discovery, author singularity and the convulsions of the contemporary world. Leaving the design of sections of the festival unchanged, and repeating the map of venues of recent years, the main novelty of this edition is the significant reinforcement of the activities focusing on national and foreign professional audiences. This year, industry activities will be concentrated in a new Festival Center based in the renovated Galveias Palace Library. The Festival Center will host the main services for industry participants, from the video library, to conferences and meetings between professionals, reinforcing a component that assumes increasing importance in the identity of IndieLisboa as a space where not only people can see the most stimulating films of the current year, but also start seeing those in the near future.

Concerning the programming, IndieLisboa sets a selection that promotes contact with the most recent films by world renowned directors but also reveals a very wide range of new and promising authors (this being one of its most important qualities since its inception, such as the equal importance given to short and feature films and also the abolition of gender boundaries). Among the former, there are curiously several names in common with the directors presented in the first edition (Eugène Green, Sérgio Tréfaut, Teresa Villaverde), but one of them has to be highlighted. Having been present at the inaugural International Competition in 2004 with La niña santa, Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel will be honored this year by IndieLisboa in the section Independent Hero with a broad retrospective of her work from the beginning – from the first short film to the acclaimed Zama (by the way, a Portuguese co-production). Being nowadays possibly the most relevant name of Argentine cinema, Martel will share her vision of cinema with the public in a masterclass in which the filmmaker Cláudia Varejão also participates.

The other Independent Hero of this edition is an inescapable reference of European cinematographic modernity. An essential part of the Nouvelle Vague, Jacques Rozier is perhaps the least known of the central filmmakers of the movement and the one that most justifies the pleasure and duty of a (re)discovery. In collaboration with Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema, we will be able to present the most complete retrospective of the work of Jacques Rozier ever organized outside of France and count on his presence for this celebration of the joy of filming and living, in a work that crosses more than half a century of cinema, still remaining open.

IndieLisboa’s strong commitment to Portuguese cinema comes from its first edition and has never stopped trying to find new ways to support the production and dissemination of our production. The edition in which we celebrate our 15th anniversary happens at a time when a new law of cinema that will dictate much of the future of Portuguese cinema has been the object of intense and pertinent contestation regarding the process of appointment of juries. Solidarising with the intransigent defense of the main legacy of Portuguese cinema (its freedom and autonomy from the commercial constraints allowed by the continued support of public cultural policies), IndieLisboa, for the first time in its history, opens and closes the festival with Portuguese films. Between one and another, there will be almost fifty new Portuguese films to see among the various sections of the festival. To these we add a dozen more projects that will be discussed in the scope of the Film Fund and many other unfinished films that can be seen during the Lisbon Screenings, by an audience of invited international programmers and distributors, and that we hope will have during 2018 or already in 2019 its first world presentation.

We would like to thank all of our main partners and the many entities that, with their continued support, have allowed the existence and consolidation of this festival. To the Lisbon City Council and EGEAC, the Ministry of Culture and ICA, Culturgest, the Creative Europe / MEDIA Programme and Allianz, among many other sponsors, we owe the possibility to have built 15 editions always working towards a better IndieLisboa. We look forward to continuing to count on all of them for years to come.