Sarajevo Film Festival 2024

Portuguese films shine across 2024 MDOC – Melgaço International Documentary Festival programme

The MDOC – Melgaço International Documentary Festival will take place from 29 July to 4 August, 2024. This year’s event highlights critical themes such as immigration, clandestinity, colonialism, human rights, and environmental issues through a selection of nine compelling Portuguese films.

Among the national premieres is Savanna and the Mountain by Paulo Carneiro, a documentary detailing the community resistance against a British multinational’s plan to establish Europe’s largest open-pit lithium mine in Covas de Barroso. The film, previously showcased at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, is anticipated for its narrative blending resistance, creativity, and elements of the western genre.

Another notable entry is Percebes, an animated short by Alexandra Ramires and Laura Gonçalves. Awarded the Crystal Award for Best Short Film at the Annecy Animated Film Festival, Percebes uses watercolor and digital animation to critique mass tourism and environmental mismanagement in the Algarve.

The festival will also feature seven other documentaries in competition for the prestigious Jean-Loup Passek and D. Quixote awards. These include João Gomes’s Couto Mixto, which explores the hybrid Galician-Portuguese identity, and Tânia Dinis’s So Small, looking all grown up, a narrative about women working as servants in Porto between the 1940s and 1970s.

Other compelling films include Raquel Loureiro Marques’s A dip in cold water, Catarina Laranjeiro and Daniel Barroca’s Fire in the Mud depicting the colonial war among the Balanta people, Melanie Pereira’s The Melusinas at the edge of the river, Maria Mire’s Clandestina on political militancy, and Agnes Meng’s Histories of Smugglers about the border village of Tourém.

The festival will also host the X-RAYDOC section, coordinated by journalist and filmmaker Jorge Campos, with a focus on significant historical documentaries. A masterclass by director José Filipe Costa on the role of cinema in memory and history will also be featured.

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