When Lisboa co-director Miguel Ribeiro proclaims his festival’s offer to the documentary world, it reads like a manifesto.
“We look at what is outside the centre, in terms of territories, in terms of film language, in terms of ideas, not focussing on what’s hot but on how we can defy the established, how can we defy the norm, by bringing in things that can create a tension against what is expected.”
Doc Lisboa will run October 22 to November 1 2020 with three new directors, Joana Gusmão, Joana de Sousa and Miguel Ribeiro after former directors Cíntia Gil and Davide Oberto left for Sheffield Doc/Fest and Torino Film Festival respectively at the close of the 2019 edition.
“Also for the industry it is a place where you find a very curious audience and a space that is organised through many ways of informal meetings and gatherings for the further creation and development of future projects,” Ribeiro adds.
Nebulae, whose second edition the festival is currently organising, is described as ‘the new space for networking at Doclisboa, a group of activities, gatherings, opportunities and people for the advancement of the creation, production and dissemination of independent film’.
Germany was the first country whose docmakers bathed in the Nebulae light. This year it is Georgia, whose professionals will meet their international doc counterparts, and a pitch event that will include 4-6 new Georgian non-fiction projects.
“Nebulae develops through the natural dynamics of Doclisboa,” Ribeiro adds. “Through informal ways of gathering, through believing that there are a lot of interesting and attentive people from the industry that visit the festival, we are creating ways of gathering a discussion for the further promotion of new co-productions, new projects.”
Ribeiro further outlines his modus operandi in sourcing unique content for development and exhibition, as well as the thrill of engagement on both cultural and intellectual levels between filmmakers and audience.
“We pay a lot of attention to other festivals that are also not so much in the centre, and we look at programmes from local festivals to see what they are presenting, what kind of projects they are bringing in, what kind of industry is attending, then making contact if their profile and projects seem interesting,” he says.
“Through this bridges start to build, people connect with other people and you can bring them to a festival where they will be sharing space with the key names of documentary film.”
“Doc Lisboa first of all aims to be a place of encounter between audience and films that defy preconception and notions of documentary,” he ends. “Very curious and attentive audiences visit the festival every year, and it is through [subsequent] debates and collective reflections that Doclisboa can continuously evolve into a place where you can really rethink the relationship between cinema and the real.”