Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa will be the guest of honour at Cinéma du réel, the Paris-based international documentary film festival, to be held March 13 to 22 2020.
A pupil of António Reis, and closely aligned with filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet and Chantal Akerman, Costa made his first film, Blood (O Sangue), in 1989.
Much of Costa’s work explores human lives ranging between the island republic of Cape Verde and Portugal, and particularly in the heart of the Fontainhas district of Lisbon.
Throughout Costa’s films, his heroes – Vanda, Ventura, Vitalena Varela – meet and respond to each other. His is cinema that continually examines the relationship between fiction and documentary.
Four films made with the inhabitants of Fontainhas will be screened: In Vanda’s Room, Colossal Youth, Horse Money and Vitalina Varela (which won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival 2019).
The program will be accompanied by two themed discussions with the filmmaker: a masterclass, and an examination of the enduring legacy of In Vanda’s Room, which was presented at Cinéma du réel in 2001. The film caused a sensation and the resulting debate was explosive.
The retrospective will continue at the Jeu de Paume art centre from March 24 to 31, with a series of nine screenings, most of which will be presented in the presence of Costa.
These are: Our Man, The Rabbit Hunters, Six Bagatelas, Blood, Down to Earth, Ossos, Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? and Change Nothing.
A catalogue and art book, co-published by Editions de l’Oeil, will record the event. Its release is scheduled for Autumn 2020.