A new documentary film club has been set up in São Brás de Alportel in a bid to encourage people to “discover and understand documentary not just as a form of information but as cinematic storytelling”.
The first showing will take place at 5pm this Friday (October 22) at São Brás de Alportel’s museum.
The idea for this new venture came from a “group of friends having a drink after a great yoga session”.
“For family reasons, I ended up spending the last few months in Loulé. Although I carried on with most of my documentary filmmaking activities online, I missed sharing good films with a live audience,” Noé Mendelle, director of the Scottish Documentary Institute and one of the founders of the club, told the Resident.
“Part of my job is to attend the best international festivals and track new talent and their latest films. This is a great opportunity to share with a new audience some of the exciting films I’ve come across made by award-winning filmmakers,” Mendelle added.
“The plan is to hold these showings once a month. If we have enough interest, we will try twice a month.”
Hopes are that the club will help showcase the power of documentaries as more than just a form of information.
“The Algarve is already very international but, through documentaries, we can widen our horizons by bringing new experiences, new understandings of the world we live in,” she said.
Nick Hodge, one of the club’s members, pointed out that “although there is a range of different film clubs, there is not another one in Algarve that is focused on documentary filmmaking that I know of.”
The first documentary to be shown will be ‘Donkeyote’ by Spanish director Chico Pereira.
The film follows Manolo, a 73-year-old man “who has a simple life in Southern Spain and two loves: his animals, in particular his donkey Gorrión (“Sparrow”), and wandering through nature. Against the advice of his doctor, he decides to plan one last walk in the US, the brutal 2200-mile Trail of Tears. But not without his donkey.”
Noé Mendelle was one of the film’s producers and will be attending for an intro and Q&A session afterwards.
Cost will be €4 for the general public and €2 for ‘Amigos do Museu’ members.
Future screenings will be advertised through the ‘Amigos do Museu’ network.
About Noé Mendelle
Noé Mendelle has worked in film and TV for over 30 years as a director and a producer. She set up the Scottish Documentary Institute in 2004 and has devised several award-winning talent initiatives, including Bridging the Gap, BtG+, This is Scotland, Stories and The Edinburgh Pitch. She is a research professor at Edinburgh College of Art where she supervises PhD by practice in Documentary Film.
By MICHAEL BRUXO