51st IndieLisboa - International Independent Film Festival
Portugal, April 24 - May 4 2008
As the name reveals it, IndieLisboa is establishing itself as a platform for world independent cinema. The international competition section is devoted to young filmmakers with one or two feature-length (either fiction or documentary) films under their belts, while the national competition presents a selection of new Portuguese films. In addition to this, the festival showcases the most significant contemporary works in auteur cinema to its home audiences (Observatory, Laboratory, Director’s Cut) and pays special focus to the work of “Independent Heroes” — this year bowing to the impressive oeuvres of Johnnie To and José Luis Guerín and providing an overview of new Romanian cinema. The composition of the latter nicely reveals the directors’ (the trio of Rui Pereira, Nuno Sena, Miguel Valverde) policy and approach to programming: instead of simply presenting the usual suspects (Pui, Mungiu, Porumboiu, Nemescu, Muntean) and their award-winning films, the festival travelled to Romania and searched for new interesting names as well as the early works and shorts that served as the seeds for the exciting cinema that we know today, allowing for a deeper insight into this turbulent country.
IndieLisboa also shows a rich selection of shorts that compete for the international and national award, presents a regular program on children’s films (IndieJunior), while a special attention is given to music documentaries (the annual IndieMusic section) as well. In fact IndieLisboa is a much bigger festival than it might appear on first sight (to add figures: 239 films representing 40 countries).
Despite its young age (celebrating its fifth anniversary this year), the festival has gained a reputation as the most important cinema event in Portugal. At the same time its international reputation has been built as an attentively curated festival where less exposed films with fresh, sometimes quite radical ideas and intriguing personal styles, are brought to consideration.
All in all, IndieLisboa is a feast for local audiences, a quality festival with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, an ideal venue for journalists and critics to conduct interviews with directors who tend to be too busy at larger events, and a place for programmers to make personal contacts. (Nika Bohinc)
IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival: www.indielisboa.com