For the most relevant Portuguese ‘veterans’, please check my other list ‘THE PORTUGUESE MASTERS’.
This is essentially a list of newcomers (in no particular order) whose work is pushing Portuguese cinema in a new direction.
JOAO NICOLAU is the author of three very original shorts and a disappointing first feature. Of the shorts, Rapace, in particular, shows unpaired audacity in form and style.
Nicknamed golden boy of Portuguese cinema, JOAO SALAVIZA has been awarded both the palme d’or and the golden bear. His several short films deal with the reality of very poor people in the suburbs and outskirts of Lisbon.
An aficcionado of super 8, PATRICK MENDES has developped highly disturbing fiction and experimental short films, mastering a very personal universe that reminds us of the body-horror of Cronenberg. Synchrotron, in particular, is an old-school shocker.
Highly prolific artist, GABRIEL ABRANTES begun showing his films in art galleries and quickly took over the film festival scene. Roughly stylized, his social commentaries are the opposite of the so-called “social realism” of Salaviza or Basil da Cunha, as he observes from the point of view of the upper classes or elites.
Agent-provocateur, CARLOS CONCEICAO’s polemic subjects are balanced with rigourous and classy mise-en-scéne. His shorts Carne and O Inferno approach controversial topics in cool, controlled use of archetypes, to create moody and apparently innocent allegories.
Indie writer/director/producer, GONCALO TOCHA has created unique documentaries centered on remote realities. É Na Terra Não É Na Lua is a tender and intimate portrayal of his hometown, at Ilha do Corvo, and builds up an interesting conflict between realism and surrealism.
A self-pronounced stylist of silence, CLAUDIA VAREJAO borrows heavily from contemporary auteurs like Lucrecia Martel and creates family dramas in which some conflict (like tragedy) is always imminent. Her three short films work as a trilogy about communication inside of familial huis-clos.
A prolific documentarian as well as a sensitive fiction artiste, LEONOR NOIVO has the hability to bring up the simple and mundane sides of characters that inhabit familiar environments. Hers is a bright and hopeful universe even when subjects are not.
The most recent name to emerge in the social-realism trend, BASIL DA CUNHA’s short films have played in important festivals and Os Vivos Tambem Choram got a special mention in Cannes as well as Best National Film Award at Curtas Vila do Conde in 2012.
SALOME LAMAS has been working with time-based image and has exhibit both in art spaces and film festivals. In 2012 she was awarded at IndieLisboa film festival, at 20º Curtas Vila do Conde and at Doclisboa, presenting immediately afterwards her first feature at the Berlinale.Read less