Porto/Post/Doc announces a new project: Critics Lab

by Porto/Post/Doc / 25 07 2023

Critics Lab will take place during the 10th edition of the festival, aims to support the development of a new generation of writers, in line with fomenting the participation of emerging writers about film.

Participants will be involved in discussions and panels with established film critics and filmmakers, during the days of the festival, giving participants the opportunity to experience the community of ideas that will nurture their criticism into the future.

The process of selection is made through an open call. Candidates will be asked to submit a sample of their work. Open to applicants from all areas, with an interest in film and all arts, as well as a thirst to learn more about how to write about cinema and reflect on it from a critical point of view.

Critics Lab will be coordinated by Christopher Small and Ricardo Vieira Lisboa. Also invited are critics Ella Bittencourt, Leo Goldsmith and Olivia Cooper-Hadjian. The project is coordinated by Joana Gusmão.

Porto/Post/Doc and P3 | Público established a collaboration to publish the works that were created in this lab. Ultimately, the publication decision is subject to P3's editorial criteria.

• Age requirement: 18 to 35 years old;
• Fluent in spoken and written English;
• Passionate about cinema and eager to engage with fellow participants in exploring innovative approaches to writing and discussing film;
• Demonstrated passion for writing about film and other arts.

• Open Call: 25th July 2023;
• Deadline: 31st August 2023;
• Results: 28th September 2023;
• Lab Duration: 18th to 25th November - Applicants must be available to attend the festival in person during these dates.

• Accommodation from 18th to 25th November for 7 nights for trainees living outside the Porto Metropolitan Area;
• Accreditation granting admission to all official screenings at the Festival;
• Participation in the program of meetings and workshops organized by the Critics Lab;
• Access to networking events and parties during the Festival.

(*) Please note that Travel to and from the Festival is not included. Each participant is responsible for their own travel arrangements.

Christopher Small (English) and Ricardo Vieira Lisboa (Portuguese).

Ela Bittencourt, Leo Goldsmith and Olivia Cooper-Hadjian.

Joana Gusmão.

Applicants are required to submit 2 samples of writing (maximum 3000 words in total) related to film (reviews or essays, either published or unpublished - interviews will not be accepted), along with a cover letter, a brief CV, and an ID photo. All documents should be submitted in English.

For any further information please email us at  joana.gusmao@portopostdoc.com Joana Gusmão - Critics Lab coordinator.


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CHRISTOPHER SMALL is a writer, curator, and filmmaker, based in Prague, Czech Republic. Formerly of Sheffield DocFest, where he was on the Selection Committee and programmed their 2020 retrospective, he now is a curator for Doc Alliance, the association of 7 European documentary festivals, and its VOD platform DAFilms.com, and is the head of the Critics Academy at the Locarno Film Festival. He is also the co-founder and editor of Outskirts Film Magazine, a biannual print magazine on cinema, and curator at Kino Petrohradská in Prague. His first film, Communists! had its World Premiere in the Official International Competition at the 22nd edition of BAFICI in 2021. Christopher is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents and a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).

RICARDO VIEIRA LISBOA holds an MA at School of Theater and Cinema in Film Project Development, in the area of Direction and Dramaturgy, and a Master's Degree from Instituto Superior Técnico in Applied Mathematics and Computing Programming. In 2013 he began a collaboration with IndieLisboa festival, having taken over functions of programming, content production, organisation of conferences and promotion of sessions. He is a film programmer, having worked at Casa do Cinema Manoel de Oliveira, Serralves Foundation, between 2019 and 2023, and at Cinemateca Portuguesa, since 2023. As a film critic he writes for the website À pala de Walsh, which he co-founded in 2012. He joined the Porto / Post / Doc team as content producer in 2021.

ELA BITTENCOURT is a writer, journalist and film critic based in Brazil. She holds a Masters in Art Management and Creative Writing, both from Columbia University in New York. Her articles are published in several international magazines, including Artforum, Frieze, New York Review of Books, Sight & Sound and Vulture. Bittencourt is a consultant for Giornate degli Autori (Venice Days) and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). She has curated sessions at the True / False Film Festival, São Paulo Int’l Film Festival, Instituto Moreira Salles and Museum of Moving Image, in New York.

LEO GOLDSMITH is a writer, teacher, and curator based in Brooklyn, New York. His criticism can be found in 4Columns, Film Comment, e-flux Criticism, and The Brooklyn Rail, whose film section he co-edited from 2011 to 2017. His forthcoming book on the radical documentary practices of British filmmaker Peter Watkins was awarded an Arts Writers Grant by Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation in 2015. He is an Assistant Professor of Culture & Media at Eugene Lang College, The New School, and serves as an advisor to the programming team of the New York Film Festival.

OLIVIA COOPER-HADJIAN has taken part in the organisation and curation of several film festivals in France since 2008, including the Festival des cinémas différents de Paris and the États généraux du film documentaire in Lussas. She has been part of the selection committee of Cinéma du réel since 2014 and Manager of Programming for the Competitions since 2017. In 2020, she was one of the guest curators of the first edition of the Villa Medici Film Festival in Rome. She is also a programmer for the creative documentary platform Tënk. As a film critic, she contributed to the online journal Critikat between 2011 and 2020. Since 2020, she has been writing for Cahiers du cinéma and is a member of its editorial board. She has also worked as a translator of essays and films from English to French.

JOANA GUSMÃO studied Modern Languages and Literatures at University of Porto and completed her MA in Text and Performance Studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art/King's College, London. She also attended an MA in Cinematographic Project Development at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema do IPL. She worked as production coordinator at Terratreme Filmes and, in 2014, founded the production company Primeira Idade with Pedro Fernandes Duarte, where she produced the multi-award-winning film The Metamorphosis of Birds, by Catarina Vasconcelos (winner of the FIPRESCI Award at Berlinale in 2020) among other films. She began collaborating with Doclisboa - International Film Festival in 2015, having co-directed the festival between 2020 and 2021. She currently works as freelance film producer and as a programmer, publications and translations coordinator for Porto/Post/Doc film festival.

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