30th Festroia International Film Festival
Portugal, June 6 - June 15 2014
The 30th edition of Festroia took place from June 5 to 16 in the town of Setubal on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, south of Lisbon and opposite the peninsula of Troia, from which the festival took its name. It is a competitive feature film festival which has been recognized by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) since 1988. The event was founded in 1985 by Mario Ventura – an author of more than 20 books and a journalist in Portugal and Spain – with the aim of introducing films by unfamiliar directors to the Portuguese audience. It has embraced the theme of “man and nature” – as in defending the environment and natural heritage – a mission which still holds true today. The current director of the festival is Fernanda Silva, who has presided since the death of Ventura.
In 1987, FIPRESCI and the Council of Europe introduced a prize for the best film on environmental issues. Last year the FIPRESCI Prize went to The Broken Circle Breakdown by Belgian director Felix Van Groeningem.
Festroia presents 188 films from over 40 countries, which are screened at the Fórum Luísa Todi, the Auditório Municipal Charlot and the Auditório José Afonso. This year’s tribute to a national cinema focused on Germany, with a section containing 35 films, 21 features and 14 shorts. Dietrich Bruggermann’s Stations of the Cross, which won the Silver Bear for Best Script at the recent Berlinale, was honored as the opening film. There were 45 films in competition, divided into three competitive sections, each with its own jury: Official Section, First Works, and Man and His Environment .
In the Official Section, Portugal was represented by Black Diamonds, a Portuguese co-production from Miguel Alcantud. Another section was titled “Based On…”, featuring films based on true stories or novels. This year the festival also paid tribute to Portuguese producer Paulo Branco, known as the “cinema man” who produced more than 270 films internationally, with a small showcase of his work. For young viewers there was the Youth Panorama, which consists of seven features screened during the festival’s final weekend.
Despite the current economic crisis, Festroia continues to enjoy the support of the municipality and the Media Programme, as well as sponsorship from private companies. Guests were able to experience the Portuguese culture of hospitality, generosity and respect. (Roberto Tirapelle)
Festroia International Film Festival: www.festroia.pt