As we return to the cinemas in downtown Porto, we return with a deepened desire to share, on the one hand, a rich and varied programme of films across the four regular Competition sections and the thematic programme and, on the other, a desire to inhabit the cinema space together again. The Fórum do Real and Call to Action will also return to create a public space of discussion and reflection where the local community and the guests of the festival can come together to debate key creative, social and political concerns.
Our programme this year is a resolute attempt to align the festival with the concerns that drive global discussions around the climate crisis, with our thematic programme being at the heart of this. Entitled "Ideas to Postpone the End of the World", it is a programme that simply could not be postponed beyond 2021. The programme was conceived during the pandemic in between (digital) conversations between myself and the indigenous leader and writer Ailton Krenak. Counting on his generosity, we brought together ideas, themes and films, between Porto and the Krenak reserve (from where Ailton cannot leave in order to protect his community). In this reality, like so many others, I was shut up at home in Porto with Ailton in the middle of the Amazon, dreaming of a face-to-face meeting at the festival. We moved forward at the pace that the pandemic allowed, with no certainty of what a physical, collective edition of the festival might look like.
We are delighted, then, to be able to welcome audiences for in person events once again, and in addition to our usual festival venues (Rivoli, Passos Manuel, Planetário and Casa Comum), we will welcome two new ones: a recently reopened neighbourhood cinema, Sala Estúdio Perpétuo, with a focus on new Portuguese documentary and School Trip screenings, and the AGEAS Coliseum for the closing night with the video installation and musical performance "As Filhas do Fogo" by Pedro Costa and the Músicos do Tejo.
Music will also accompany our opening night with the screening of Leitão de Barros’ classic of Portuguese silent cinema, the docufiction ‘‘Maria do Mar’’ with a live, original score by Bernardo Sassetti, and interpreted by Pedro Burmester and the Lisbon Sinfonietta Orchestra.
Porto/Post/Doc is also pleased to bring together two young filmmakers, Basir Mahmood and Theo Anthony, who by the strength and originality of their creative voices we feel will cause quite an impact on the participants and the public at the festival.
Over eleven days, a marathon of films and encounters between the public and filmmakers, journalists and activists will take place in Porto. At the heart of these encounters, we hope will be conversations about what people discovered in the cinema and saw on screen: films for audiences attentive to the themes of our time, and curious to watch new Portuguese and international cinema; films that are defiant, challenging, poetic. The festival continues to champion films that express themselves politically and aesthetically, that draw from both documentary and fictional registers, and which force us to look at the world anew.
The need to think, above all, in community and to resist individuality is one of the great dilemmas of our time; a dilemma we hope to begin to discuss and address with a series of conversations labeled Call to Action, which highlight this and other pressing issues.
Finally, for professionals in the industry we have begun a new collaboration with Filmaporto and the new Batalha Film Center with the production project ‘Working Class Heroes’ that we believe will enrich and reinforce the film heritage and industry in the city and the region in the near future.
Welcome to Porto/Post/Doc 2021. Together, in a cinema.
See you soon.