IndieLisboa in a Trance: Contaminations and Reinvention

The 16th edition of IndieLisboa brings forward the challenge and the added responsibility to succeed after the second best edition ever of the festival. In 2018 there were more than 37 thousand visitors at the festival, an exceptional leap made without having deviated from the concept and the quality of programming that guides us and that the festival goers have become used to.

With a consolidated and stable programming structure, the festival reinvents itself in the way it is produced and in the way it communicates with the public. The increase in spectators is closely linked to the way the festival is thought to be a complete experience and how it adapts to new forms of communication, seeking new audiences. We want people to come to us, but we do not stop looking for potential festival goers. Measures tested in the previous year as the reinforcement in the digital communication and in the distribution of materials, new creative ideas of communication as the use of a car with megaphone system to announce the festival, the creation of earlybird vouchers, the invitation to emerging artists like Conan Osiris, who are able to mobilize a large audience to the festival’s parties, or the choice of unconventional venues for those same parties are just a few of the examples of reinvention that we want to be permanent and will continue in 2019.

The new edition opens with Harmony Korine’s latest refreshing film and closes with the new film by Nadav Lapid, Golden Bear in Berlin 2019, which deals with issues of identity and personal reinvention. The festival maintains its programming objectives, paying close attention to the revelation of the new values ​​of author cinema and following the most recent films of the consecrated directors, and brings back the dialogue between different generations of authors and diverse geographies. The dialogue is reinforced by the return of the Silvestre Focus. To the two Independent Heroes: Anna Karina, in a tribute to one of the most iconic actresses of modern cinema (organized in partnership with Cinemateca Portuguesa), and Brazilian Cinema, in a critical and attentive look at a daring kind of production, politically aware and resistant to the turbulent times people living in Brazil are going through, we add an homage to the work of the Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel duo. In addition to showing all of her films, including her first feature Jessica Forever, which will be in the International Competition section, the duo was challenged to program a screening as they saw fit and the result was a surprise. Instead of the usual selection of favorite films, the choice fell on a video game and music performance. A video game created from scratch and played live by the performers, which mixes cinema and music created in real time in a special event that will close the focus.

Interestingly enough, this choice finds echoes within this year’s IndieLisboa program. Videogames, the vortex of images and sounds available on the internet, audiovisual performances/installations, YouTube or chatrooms are a sign of the times and they contaminate countless of films we saw this year and some of the ones we show at the festival, films such as Ne travaille pas, by Caesar Vayssié, Present.Perfect, by ShengzeZhu, Make Me Up, by Rachel Maclean, Flesh Memory, by Jacky Goldberg, Operation Jane Walk, by Robin Klengel and Leonhard Müllner, Swatted, by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, Walled Unwalled, by Lawrence Abu Hamdan or Past Perfect by Jorge Jácome. These films are part of the more than 250 films distributed in the various sections of the festival, demonstrating various formats and genres, in what is one of the singularities of IndieLisboa, a generalist festival that gives the same importance to the long and the short film formats.

Two other aspects of IndieLisboa take center stage in the festival’s programming. Portuguese cinema and IndieJunior. This year, more than 50 Portuguese films are distributed throughout the various sections of the festival, a commitment to the national production that is renewed every year. If we look at Portuguese films within the festival as a whole, this is kind of cinema that attracts more spectators, which makes us very proud of the work we do each year. However, as an individual section, IndieJunior has an advantage. This is the largest section of the festival in number of viewers and will again have rooms full of school kids and families, gathered to see a selection of the best cinema made throughout the world for children and young audiences from 3 to 15 years old, a special screening composed of classic Polish animation films of the 60s and a film-concert that will give a new sound dimension to works of Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton, organized in collaboration with Casa da Música.

In addition to the cinema screenings, we have to mention a whole series of parallel activities that, as usual, enrich the festival and make it a space of sharing, discussion of ideas, discovery and celebration. Some dedicated to a professional or specific audience, such as the Lisbon Screenings, PLOT, Fundo de Apoio ao Cinema, Cineclube IndieLisboa and other events open to the public such as the LisbonTalks, masterclasses or the IndiebyNight parties that continue the dialogue between music and the festival’s films, mainly from the IndieMusic section. This year we will be able to attend a historic night with a concert that brings together generations of some of the women who made and are still making history in Portuguese rock: Lena d’Água, Adelaide Ferreira, The Gaijas, The Dirty Coal Train, Anarchicks, Depression Cookware, Clementine, Decibelics, Paralytic Matriarch and Aurora Pinho.

All this would not be possible without the renewed support of our main partners and the many entities that believe in the festival and walk alongside us. The Lisbon City Council and EGEAC, the Ministry of Culture and ICA, Culturgest, Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema, the Europa Creative/MEDIA program and Allianz, which continues to be the main sponsor of the festival, among several other partners and sponsors, we owe them all the chance to do one more edition of IndieLisboa.

Last but not least, we end with a special word of thanks to the IndieLisboa team, who embrace this project with unlimited care, dedication and professionalism.