NY/Portuguese Short Film Festival

Courtesy of the ny/portuguese short film festival

What Love Means to Me (O Que Eu Entendo Por Amor) by Ricardo Martins.

Another film festival? Really? Yes.

It isn’t easy to offer a film festival in the middle of the acclaimed Mill Valley Film Festival that runs October 2-12, but then maybe that’s why the promoters decided to do so. Piggyback on film frenzy, everyone’s in town anyway; let’s put it out there. Plus, this one is for a good cause (but of course). It benefits the Sausalito Sister City program with Cascais, Portugal and is a fundraiser for the 2015 Youth Sailing Exchange Program between the two cities. A good cause indeed and one with an intriguing field of films.

The first annual NY/Portuguese Short Film Festival, featuring Portugal’s top young filmmakers is Saturday, October 4 at the Bay Model auditorium in Sausalito, and quite frankly, some of the short films look quite compelling. But then (true confessions) I have never walked out of a movie. I am hopelessly captivated.

Seventeen (17) short films will be screened. They have been chosen by a distinguished jury of U.S., Portuguese and Brazilian film experts. The first of its kind in the U.S., the festival was launched four years ago by Arte Institute in New York “to expose a broader, international audience to Portuguese culture and its prolific but under-recognized cinematic scene.” Founded in 2011, Arte Institute strives to facilitate the production and showcasing of international contemporary artists and art projects, with a focus on Portuguese contemporary art.

Sausalito and Marin County are the perfect venue for such a screening as we have a tremendous Portuguese cultural heritage. The Portuguese first came to the area on whaling ships and then arrived in great numbers to work in the growing dairy business in the region. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a quarter of Sausalito’s entire population was of Portuguese descent and there is still an active Portuguese community in the city.  

This Sausalito film premier is a partnership between Arte Institute, the Sausalito-Cascais Sister City Committee and the University of California, Berkeley. There will be two sets of screenings (6PM and 8PM). The price of admission (tickets are only $20) includes both screenings and an intermission with Portuguese wines, cheeses, pastries and dessert wines. Tickets may be purchased at brownpapertickets.com. This is the “off-the-grid” film festival next weekend and it should be interesting.

I think it’s just a week to turn off your cell phone, head to the theater, grab some popcorn (or Portuguese cheese!) and indulge in the wide, wonderful world of film.  

For more information on the N.Y. Portuguese Film Festival, including film synopses and interviews with directors. Learn more about Arte Institute.