The Batalha Centro de Cinema, in Porto, will host the New Meetings of Portuguese Cinema in June, a discussion forum to analyze the “state of mind” of Portuguese cinema, namely the current challenges, advanced this Tuesday the artistic director of the institution , William Blanc, at a press conference. “It is a time for inquiry, study and consultation with the film industry”, he added.
The aim of these New Meetings, which intend to carry out a “historical revisitation” of the Week of Studies on the New Portuguese Cinema that took place in 1967, is to carry out a global analysis of the “state of mind” of cinema, namely the opportunities, challenges, responsibilities and complexities that film producers, filmmakers, distributors, educators and film critics face on a daily basis.
The sector is growing, but what is wanted is “better and more robust”, stressed Blanc.
In this event, four themes will be brought to the center of the debate, led by sub-commissioners responsible for coordinating an investigation and listening to the medium: production (Mariana Liz), distribution and exhibition (Paulo Cunha), criticism (José Bértolo) and education (Carlos Natálio ).
Guilherme Blanc said that these sub-commissioners would independently analyze the state of Portuguese cinema in each of these areas, with the advice of researchers and associations in this investigation.
This work will be carried out using interviews and a public questionnaire addressed to professionals in the sector – launched on March 20 and available to fill in online until April 20 – which will contribute to the investigation and conclusions presented at the event, he stressed.
During the New Meetings, each topic will be discussed in a debate with three guests selected by the sub-commissioners, pointing out proposals for the future of the sector.
The director of what is now called Batalha Centro de Cinema revealed that this forum will result in a public document that will translate the reflections and conclusions drawn throughout the process of research, preparation and implementation of the initiative.
The detailed program of the event, open to the public and with free admission, will be announced in May.
In turn, the president of Cineclube do Porto, Ana Carneiro, stressed that, since 1967, the problems in the film industry are “profoundly different”. The sector is very professionalized, it has expanded and, therefore, the problems are also different, she stressed. “Issues such as inclusiveness, representativeness, ecology, decent working conditions, the distribution of works and funding problems were not the main concerns in 1967, and many of them were not even raised”.
The director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Gulbenkian Culture Programme, Miguel Magalhães, hopes that Novos Encontros will discuss the paths and challenges facing all the actors who, at this moment, accompany Portuguese cinema.
The New Meetings of Portuguese Cinema will take place organized by the three entities, which create a parallel with the moment 56 years ago.
“In 1967, the Week of Studies on New Portuguese Cinema took place in Batalha. Organized by the Cineclube do Porto with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the City Council of Porto, this event was central to the definition of what would become the policies financing of cinematographic production in Portugal. The discussion brought together actors from various parts of the country, from young directors to established directors, film clubs, writers, journalists, and various personalities of culture in Portugal”, recalled Batalha, in a statement.