In a medieval tower in Ribeira do Porto, an analogue cinema laboratory will appear

The Municipality of Porto provided the building where a cinema laboratory will be installed, especially aimed at analog media, which will operate in a cooperative model open to the public.

Lights, camera, action: the future Torre Cinema Laboratory already has a space in the heart of Ribeira, two steps from the Douro River. In a building owned by the Municipality, located in the narrow streets of the Barredo area, this cultural project will operate, which will adopt a cooperative model open to the public. It will pay special attention to analogue media and will have a practical, experimental, and formative component.

The temporary transfer of the property located at Rua de Baixo nos. 3 and 5 and Viela do Buraco s/n was unanimously approved at the Executive meeting held on 26 July. “With the occupation of this property, we intend to develop the Torre Cinema Laboratory project, focusing on practice, experimentation, production and training in the field of analogue cinema formats, namely film in Super-8, 16mm and 35mm formats“, could be read in the proposal then presented by the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira.

The project aims to ensure the fomentation of a critical and creative mass specialized in analogue cinematographic media, through the provision of a space for production, creation and exhibition, and providing technical knowledge, tools, pedagogical faculties and infrastructure. Its mission is to preserve and develop new generations of creators, contributing to a broader and regenerating cultural fabric in the city of Porto, establishing bridges for internationalization and labor export. The experimental cinema laboratory presents itself as an opportunity to expand programming activities at the ‘Battle Cinema Center’ and other common training activities hosted by the Department of Cinema and Image in Motion”, the document added.

The project’s operating model will seek to adjust to the needs of the various target audiences – from directors, artists and technicians, to students and amateurs: either in a studio for associates with knowledge already acquired in the film laboratory; in an open laboratory for public use; or through the creation of training programs, exchanges, provision of services, internships, and also artistic residencies.

Describing the future Torre Cinema Laboratory as “a pioneering and unique project in our context”, the artistic director of Batalha Centro de Cinema, Guilherme Blanc, pointed out to councilors that the property in question “has not been used for a public purpose for a long time. practically 15 years”.

In the Portuguese context there is no laboratory with this profile, cooperative or associative, and non-profit, which therefore can have a very interesting use for the class of directors and artists who work with these formats“, he would add, having explained that “the organizing entity is a Laia – Cooperativa Cultural, a very recent cooperative, founded by women artists from Porto”.

The City Council of Porto granted support in the amount of 30,000 euros to this project, with Laia – Cooperativa Cultural being responsible for promoting the necessary rehabilitation and adaptation works on the property.

The installation of the Torre Cinema Laboratory will be one more argument for Porto to position itself as a “Cidade do Cinema” – the opening to the public of Batalha Centro de Cinema  should take place in early 2022  and the platform Filmaporto Film Commission has been attracting and facilitate filming in the city, in addition to awarding production grants and supporting training.

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