New Encounters in Portuguese Cinema brings the film industry to Batalha in June

From 6–8 June, Batalha will welcome New Encounters in Portuguese Cinema, an event designed to contribute to debates regarding film production nationally. The initiative was presented this morning in a press conference featuring contributions by Guilherme Blanc (Batalha Centro de Cinema), Ana Carneiro (Cineclube do Porto) and Miguel Magalhães (Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian) — representing the three organisations involved in the project.

In 1967, a week-long event took place at Batalha Cinema with the title ‘Semana dos Encontros do Novo Cinema Português’ (Encounters in New Portuguese Cinema Week). Organised by Cineclube do Porto with the support of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Porto City Council, this event was pivotal in defining subsequent funding policies for film production in Portugal. The conference brought together contributors from all over the country: young artists just starting out; established directors; film club members; writers; journalists; and other figures from the cultural scene in Portugal.

Now in 2023, the same organisers propose a new set of encounters in Portuguese film, to take place at Batalha Centro de Cinema, with the support of Filmaporto. The New Encounters in Portuguese Cinema will result in the publication of a document communicating the reflections and conclusions drawn throughout the process of research, preparation and execution of the initiative.

This industry event will be centred around four themes, each developed by a sub-commissioner responsible for coordinating an investigation and consultation: Production (Mariana Liz); Distribution and Exhibition (Paulo Cunha); Criticism (José Bértolo); and Education (Carlos Natálio). This work include interviews and a public survey aimed at professionals from the sector — launched on 20 March and available for online completion until 20 April — which will contribute to the research and conclusions presented at the event. During New Encounters, each theme will be discussed in a debate featuring three guests invited by the sub-commissioners, who will identify new ideas for the future of the sector.

With the aim of ensuring the research’s diversity and breadth, the organising team behind New Encounters has invited a number of associations, producers and distributors to form a consultative team that will complement the work of the sub-commissioners. This team is made up of 13 bodies: UNA — União Negra das Artes, APR — Associação Portuguesa Realizadores, FECA — Federação Portuguesa de Escolas de Cinema e Audiovisual, APTA — Associação Portuguesa de Técnicos de Audiovisual, MUTIM — Mulheres Trabalhadoras das Imagens em Movimento, Cineclube de Viseu, Nitrato Filmes e Cinema Trindade, Portugal Film, FILMIN, Agência da Curta Metragem, Som e a Fúria, Bando à Parte, e Pandora Cunha Telles.

The event will be open to the public and free to attend. A detailed programme will be announced in May.