Between September 19 and 23, the 16th edition of the festival is still in the stage of selecting the works that will be part of its competitive section, with 55.2% of the competitors betting on works of fiction, with documentary film, with 26.8% of the applications, and the experimental one, with 14.1% of the entries.
“In recent years there has been a steep increase in the production of documentary films and experimental films, a fact that reveals the desire of the filmmakers to work their own way of seeing the world, giving the films a personal stamp that reflects their experiences, expectations and needs, “said the director of the festival and also president of Arouca’s Cineclube, João Rita, adding that,” in this way, they create a new concept of author cinema, more active and interventional. ”
For Cátia Camisão, programmer at the Arouca Film Festival, it is also worth noting that most pre-screening films this year show “a strong bet on cinematic arguments on themes that have made the history of humanity and which are also prominent today , addressing since the great world wars the fears of terrorist attacks and prejudices.
The director also points out that in this edition there was an “exponential growth of the films coming from Eastern Europe, an interesting phenomenon that reflects a new wave of producers and films of these territories.”
“This confirms the quality and liveliness of European cinema, demonstrating also that while the cinematography of these countries has already been around for decades, its distribution market is now starting to become more open, allowing a greater dissemination of its works and entry into new countries and markets, as is the case of Portugal, “explains João Rita.
As for the most recent competitive categories of the Arouca Film Festival, launched in 2017 to promote the cinematography carried out using smartphones and production that explores topics specifically related to human rights, the greater number of applications at this level will prove the sense of opportunity strategy.
“In the category of films made with mobile phones, there was an increase in participation and this year there were 56 works, which represents 38 more than last year,” said João Rita.
For the director, this “was a winning bet,” because it made it possible to “open the way to projects that had not yet been able to reach the full potential of their creative potential due to the lack of projection and dissemination spaces.”
Cinematography via telephone is, moreover, “a market that is in rapid growth” and in which the director of the Arouca Film Festival wants to continue to bet, recognizing it as “one of the ways to regenerate the sector”.
Regarding the also recent category on human rights, Cátia Camisão admits that this one registered this year “unexpected levels of participation”.
“Among the 785 films registered, 96 portray this theme, contributing to a greater collective awareness in areas that need another look by society and the organs of Power,” says the programmer of the festival. “It is in the light of this cinematic language that we want to contribute to an expansion of the spaces for debate and discussion on these issues, “he concluded.