23 MAY — 02 JUNE 2024

23 MAY — 02 JUNE 2024

International Competition: the return of the prodigies

Year after year, the International Competition is one of the most awaited sections of the festival and this edition is no different. It brings together works by new and promising directors, as well as authors that the festival has always followed, such as Lois Patiño and Lola Quivoron. The festival’s 20th anniversary presents a very strong selection, with 12 features and 29 short films from different geographies and aesthetics. These are some of the highlights of the programme.

The national premiere of After, by Anthony Lapia, is one of the great events this year. The film follows the interactions at a rave – the dancing, the conversations, the drugs – and the way a new temporary world is celebrated. With a realism that transports us from night to day, the film perfectly captures the energy and the suspension of reality of the best raves to the first meeting between two lovers. Rodeo, by Lola Quivoron, also focuses on small groups on the fringes of society. In the young director’s debut film, the protagonist, Julia finds her outlet in her passion for motorbikes and the world of urban rodeos – illicit groupings where riders show off their bikes and their latest stunts. Julia finds herself drawn to a clandestine and volatile group, struggling to prove her worth to the ultra-masculine group. Galician director Lois Patiño returns to the festival with his new feature, Samsara. Every day a Buddhist teenager reads passages from the Tibetan Book of the Dead to an old woman. On his last day, the young man whispers the final passages into the woman’s ear, closes his eyes and lays down beside her as she embarks on a journey to what lies beyond. A dreamlike film that invites us on an audiovisual trip and a powerful experience in the cinema room. Another return – Ali Cherri, with his first feature film, Le Barrage. In Sudan, Maher works in a traditional brick factory, fed by the waters of the Nile. Every night, he secretly wanders into the desert to build a mysterious structure made of mud. While the Sudanese people claim their freedom, his creation slowly begins to take on a life of its own. A telluric film about the invisible violence in the Arab world.

Something You Said Last Night recovers the mood of American indie cinema in a film about a trans character in which the plot is focused on banal human and family relationships rather than on a trauma about her identity. A very safe debut from director and screenwriter Luis De Filippis in a film about universal emotions – love, shame and resilience. Still about family but in a rather different tone, Safe Place, by Croatian Juraj Lerotić, starts from a traumatic event – a suicide attempt – to explore its consequences on a family’s daily life. The source of the story is autobiographical and this is addressed in the film itself, not least in the fact that the director plays himself. In Vermelho Bruto, a documentary by Amanda Devulsky, we follow the lives of Jô, Eunice, Alessa and Fabiana, four women who were still teenagers when they became mothers during the re-democratisation of Brazil in the decade 1985-1995. Four women who lived the tensions of maternity and whose struggles were not made in public, but in the private space of the home. Combining personal archives with footage shot in 2018, during the campaign that led to the election of Jair Bolsonaro, Amanda Devulsky tries to tell history differently, to show the reverse angle of political action, as well as prove that another form of resistance is possible.

In the short films, to highlight a few, the themes range from niches of online culture – the incels in Mechanics of Fluids, cam-boys in Alpha Kings, machine-learning in Backflip – to political projects, such as the anarchist educational community Tolstoy University, in Growing Up Absurd, and Black Mousse, about the Tripoli International Fair, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1960s, in confrontation with the Lebanese Civil War. In The Garden of Fauns, Pol Merchan pays homage to the life and work of Nazario Luque, a Spanish queer artist and author of the first openly gay underground comics. Gods of the Supermarket pays homage to the clichéd representation of the male body, with which the director has a love-hate relationship. Through a series of images collected from the Internet, the cultural obsession with unrealistic standards of beauty is questioned. Endless Sea starts from an increasingly recognisable situation – Carol discovers that the price of her heart medication has doubled. When all her attempts to find a solution fail, she will be forced into a desperate act. In total, there are 29 short films, including animation, fiction, documentary or experimental cinema, of a rare geographical amplitude, from countries such as Georgia, Sudan, Lebanon, Japan or Albania.

IndieLisboa’s 20th edition will take place from April 27 to May 7, and its programme will be presented at Cinema São Jorge, Culturgest, Cinemateca Portuguesa and Cinema Ideal.

List of films

Feature films:

After, Anthony Lapia, 2023
Amiko, Morii Yusuke, 2023
Le Barrage, Ali Cherri, 2022
É Noite na América, Ana Vaz, 2022
Rodeo, Lola Quivoron, 2022
Safe Place, Juraj Lerotić, 2022
Samsara, Lois Patiño, 2023
Sobre las Nubes, María Aparicio, 2022
Something you Said Last Night, Luis De Filippis, 2022
Vermelho Bruto, Amanda Devulsky, 2022
Outro Sol, Francisco Rodriguez Teare, 2023
Misión a Marte, Amat Vallmajor Del Pozo, 2022

Short films:

Achewiq, le Chant des Femmes-courage, Elina Kastler, 2022
Alpha Kings, Enrique Pedraza Botero, Faye Tsakas, 2022
Backflip, Nikita Diakur, 2022
Black Mouse, Ahmad Naboulsi, 2022
Brighter Than Hypernova, Vladimir Simonovich, 2022
Coeurs Brisés Hôtel, Emma Axelroud Bernard, 2023
Dancing on the Grave, Ana Šiškov, 2022
Eeva, Lucija Mrzljak, Morten Tšinakov, 2022
El Jardín de los Faunos, Pol Merchan, 2022
Endless Sea, Sam Shainberg, 2022
Euridice, Euridice, Lora Mure-Ravaud, 2022
Growing Up Absurd, Ben Balcom, Julie Niemi, 2022
Hotel Kalura, Sophie Koko Gate, 2022
Howling, Aya Kawazoe, 2023
La Bouche en Coeur, Manon Tacconi, 2022
La Herida Luminosa, Christian Avilés, 2022
Mechanics of Fluids, Gala Hernández López, 2022
Gods of the Supermarket, Alberto Gonzalez Morales, 2022
Marinaleda, Louis Séguin, 2022
Nous Enfuir Sur un Char Ailé, Noa Roquet, 2022
Pentola, Leo Černic, 2022
Runaway, Salome Kintsurashvili, 2022
Suddenly TV, Roopa Gogineni, 2022
The Inheritance, Marian Farcut, 2022
The Silence of the Banana Trees, Eneos Çarka, 2022
Today, I Will Be The Bread, Andy Cahill, 2022
Uncle Vakho’s Dream, Joanna Roj, 2022
Une Jeunesse Aimable, Yann Ducreux, 2022
Week-end Raté, Julie Colly, 2022