Independent film festival now on

There is still time to catch the finale of Lisbon’s very first Independent Film Festival, now underway at the São Jorge Cinema where 79 international movies, currently unseen in Portugal, are being shown – including both features and short films.

In addition to foreign features, 10 home-grown Portuguese films have been included in the festival programme, of which the critics favourite was A Cara que Mereces, from Miguel Gomes.

In the short film category, Portugal submitted Perto, from Pedro Pinho, Madalena Miranda’s Estrela da Tarde, From Park To Park, by Tito Guedes and Manuel Ogando, and Sem Respirar, from Pedro Brito.

Besides the works in the competition, which is divided into features and short films, the festival also has a section entitled Observatório featuring films that the organisers feel are “part of the contemprary independent cinema scene”. Noite Escura, from João Canijo, Lisboetas, from Sérgio Trefaut, I’ll See You In My Dreams, by Miguel Angel-Vivas, and Nanni Moretti’s The Last Costumer were included in this section.

There is also the Independent Hero (Herói Independente) category, which includes first time film-makers’ work and films that are not likely to be distributed within Portugal. Among this section were 17 films which were part of the Sundance Festival, the most important independent cinema event in the United States.

Organisers expected to see up to 10,000 cinema goers at the event and already have plans to stage a second edition of the festival in April next year. For more information on the event, which runs until tomorrow (October 2) call 213 158 399.