From the real to the virtual: a look at a contaminated world in IndieLisboa’s International Competition

A total of 42 films will premiere in the 16th edition of IndieLisboa. From the short films all the way to the features, we take a look at the daily life of a world that is questioning its borders: between human and digital, memory and truth, intimacy and public space, reality and fiction, feminine and male.

In terms of features, we’re adding to the already announced Temporada, by André Novais Oliveira, and Jessica Forever, by Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel, other films such as Ne travaille pas, by César Vayssié, a film that lacks any words which follows the intimacy of a couple with the visual frenzy we’re used to in our day lives. It is also on the big screen that Shengze Zhu finds the stories that surround Present.Perfect, a portrait about how chatrooms and mobile phones have brought new horizons to the lives of lonely people in China. From the virtual to the streets, in So Pretty (in the picture), by Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli, we follow the life of a queer community in the face of the onslaughts of the far right, while in Thou Shalt Not Kill, Cătălin Rotaru and Virginia Şarga denounce how the corruption is costing lives in Romanian public hospitals.

De los nombres de las cabras, by Silvia Navarro and Miguel G. Morales, a world premiere, questions the historical memory of the Guanches people, dismantling colonial myths and denouncing the complex map of powers which writes the historical discourse. In Bait, Mark Jenkin confronts us with the impacts of excessive tourism in Cornwall’s fragile fishing economy. We close this look on fiction with Lost Holiday, by Michael Kerry Matthews and Thomas Matthews: A road movie about two bumbling detectives, propelled by alcohol, drugs, abductions, violence, and De nuevo otra vez, directed and performed by Romina Paula, in an intriguing game between documentary and fiction.

It’s worth highlighting the contamination of the international competition for short films with video game aesthetics, in a selection of films that bring the graphics, languages ​​and habits of the gamer community to the big screen. Whether it is the question of perspective and the look of one scene in Fest (Nikita Diakur); or we see ourselves in a post-apocalyptic New York in Operation Jane Walk (Robin Klengel and Leonhard Müllner); or the discovery of a new form of online harassment that has spread in online streaming, in Swatted (Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis).

And as in previous edition, the competition is also marked with some returns. Such as Emmanuel Marre (best fiction short film in 2017 with Le film de l’été), with D’un château l’autre, a documentary about a young voter, undecided between Macron and Le Pen, which won the Golden Leopard in 2018; and Abu Hamdan (Rubber Coated Steel, IndieLisboa 2017), who continues his investigation into the use of sound in a judicial context. In Walled Unwalled, a film where the walls serve as a pretext to discuss limits (of sound) between what is private and what is public. And it’s also worth mentioning Sara Fgaier (editor, among others, of Pietro Marcello’s La bocca del lupo, IndieLisboa 2010), who works with archive images in The Years, to tell the story of a woman and her decades by the sea of Sardinia.