XIV Festival dos Caminhos do Cinema PortuguÍs (CCP)- COIMBRA, April 21st to 28th, 2007 by Sigurd Lund, Norway
The CCP is a Portuguese film festival witch aims to promote new film productions from countries with Portuguese language. The festival screened documentaries, short films, and animation as well as feature movies.
During my brief visit to Coimbra I definitely learned a great deal about Portuguese Cinema. I don't know if the movies we saw in the festival are a good representation of Portuguese cinema in general, but if it is there are several up and coming directors that have the potential to become well known in the European market. Sadly only about half the movies in the festival had English subtitles and my Portuguese is a bit rusty (or nonexistent). The quality of the films ranged from the terrible to the great, with most movies placed somewhere in the middle. I've tried to find a common theme in the movies I saw, but I can't put my finger on something that I could describe as uniquely Portuguese. Maybe the program was set up to encompass all aspects of cinema.
Behind the scenes I experienced a positive festival staff with an actual interest in my wellbeing during the festival. The juries, the staff, directors and friends ate supper together each evening. A great way to make people feel welcome and a superb way to have discussions about almost everything. I think Iíve never had discussions about Vikings and Conquistadors at the same setting before. Excellent! After the last session of films the staff always asked if you were up for a post movie beer or glass of wine. Iíve heard rumours about other festivals and how they leave their jury members pretty much to them selves. This is not the case in Coimbra. Great hospitality, people and food (except pig ear ).
The IFFS jury gave the Don Quijote Price to "A minha aldeia jŠ n„o mora aqui" (En. My Village Doesn't Live Here Anymore), directed by Catarina Mour„o.
In this documentary, about moving a whole village in need of economic progress, the director succeeds in sharing the sentiments and emotional moments in the villagersí life during this event. It describes their personal journey in a very sensitive way, without sensationalising it. In an ideal mixture of imagery and statements we learn about the coexistence of optimism and hope, as well as despair and remembrance. The movie moves you by how it stays in the view of the concerned, and avoids any political judgement. Itís a universal theme about sacrifice for the greater good, melancholic sentiments, but also a hope for a new beginning.
Because you can easily imagine that this situation could happen in another country, the jury thought this movie is of general interest. The juryís opinion is that it gives a solution for how to deal with loss, and how to face the future at the same time. Therefore it should be supported and distributed in European Cinemas. A worthy winner of the Don Quijote Award.