Social transformation & Ibero-American cinema, 23 June 2021

The impact of the film medium in society is self-evident as a profitable form of commerce and a source of memes. It’s much harder to determine whether cinema can have an impact on society, as well.

Are acts of filmmaking capable of instigating social change? If so, which acts? What change? How can this impact be recognized, let alone measured and assessed?

In this online pre-congress, we intend to cover the many interrelations between social transformation and cinema. The film apparatus is thus considered both as a vehicle for and a witness to social change.

The event’s activities will cover the following topics:
- Decolonization and its relationship with cinema and society;
- Collective and participatory forms of film production;
- Alternative and socially engaged forms of film distribution and exhibition;
- Activist filmmaking;
- Other ways of thinking about cinema and social transformation.

Carmen Torres Narváez and Sara Diez Ortiz de Uriarte are going to be our keynote speakers.

The event will include a roundtable with directors Margarida Cardoso, Filipe Bragança and João Canijo, who will discuss how their filmmaking challenges conventional norms of film production and direction.

You can follow the pre-congress panels via these Zoom credentials:

ID: 847 7687 5997
Password: congress

PROGRAMME - 23 June 2021

10h00 - 11h00: Keynote Speakers` Talk
Sara Díez & Carmen Torres Narváez, Secretary General Iberoamericana + Q&A session 

11h00 - 11h30:
Coffee break 

11h30 - 12
h30: Round table discussion - Participatory Approach in Contemporary Filmmaking Process
With filmmakers Margarida Cardoso, João Canijo and Felipe Bragança

12h30 - 14h30: Lunch break

- 16h00: Paper Presentations by the International Researchers - Ibero-American cinema of social transformation

Film Screenings - 23, 24, 25 June 2021 

23 June
19h00: Short films screening (1h20m)
20h30: Understory by Margarida Cardoso (1h20m)
22h00: Fátima by João Canijo (3h20m) – available online till 25 June 23:59

24 June
20h30: Horse Money by Pedro Costa (1h20m)

25 June
20h00: Fátima by João Canijo (3h20m)

All screenings are free prior to inscription
via Google Form:

(more details above)

Keynote speakers: 10h00 - 11h00, 23 June 2021

Carmen Torres Narváez


Sara Diez Ortiz de Uriarte


“El cine iberoamericano como herramienta de transformación social”

Abstract: "La exposición aborda el papel central que desempeña el cine iberoamericano como complemento formativo en el ámbito de la educación superior y para la transformación social en tanto bien público regional. En los últimos años han surgido ambiciosos proyectos que promueven la circulación del cine iberoamericano a nivel regional e internacional, con una apuesta estratégica a favor de la diversidad cultural como patrimonio común. Estas plataformas, que cuentan con un amplio catálogo audiovisual y material didáctico asociado, constituyen, asimismo, una poderosa herramienta de cooperación para el reconocimiento y la empatía entre comunidades iberoamericanas en un escenario complejo de aumento de las inequidades y de fracturas sociales."

Round Table Participants: 11h30 - 12h30, 23 June 2021

Felipe Bragança

Felipe Bragança, 40 years old, was born in Rio de Janeiro. Raised between the historic center of the city and the suburbs of Baixada Fluminense. From a low-middle class family, Felipe Bragança studied cinema in a public university (UFF) and since 2003, works with cinema as director and scriptwriter.  Felipe Bragança started his professional life in cinema as director-assistant and scriptwriter in Karim Ainouz`s feature O CÉU DE SUELY (2006). Since then, he developed his works as a director (with 4 features, 4 shorts and 1 trans-media project) that were all presented in major film festivals such as Cannes, Locarno, Rotterdam, Berlinale and Sundance. He also keeps his with as a scriptwriter to selected filmmakers such as Karim Ainouz (Praia do Futuro, along with the above mentioned O Céu de Suely), Helvécio Marins (Girimunho) and Marina Meliande (Mormaço). With Meliande, he maintains the independent production company DUAS MARIOLA FILMES in Rio de Janeiro. In the last years, Felipe Bragança had retrospectives of his works in Paris (Jeu de Paumme), Berlin (Kino Arsenal and Wolf Kino) and Los Angeles (CalArts).

João Canijo

Canijo earned a degree in History at the University of Porto. He started to work professionally in cinema in 1980, acting as assistant to directors Manoel de Oliveira, Wim Wenders, Alain Tanner and Werner Schroeter. His first feature, Três Menos Eu, was picked in 1988 by the Rotterdam Film Festival. He also worked in theater, directing plays by David Mamet and Eugene O’Neill.

Noite Escura (2004) was picked by Cannes Film Festival and represented Portugal at the Academy Awards. It also won a Portuguese Golden Globe for Best Picture.
In 2011, he won the prize of Best Director at Caminhos do Cinema Português for his work on the feature Sangue do Meu Sangue

Margarida Cardoso

Margarida Cardoso is an independent filmmaker. She concluded the course “Imagem e Comunicação Audiovisual” at the António Arroio art school in Lisbon, and worked for several years in France and Portugal, as assistant director, camera assistant and script assistant in more than 50 feature films.
In 1995 she started directing her own films, exploring subjects which cross her personal history experiences and prominent issues in recent Portuguese history, such as, the colonial war in Africa, the revolution, and the post-colonialism years. The documentaries "Natal 71" and "Kuxa Kanema - O Nascimento do Cinema", and the feature film “A Costa dos Murmúrios”, are amongst her best known films, and all relate to her experience in colonial and post-colonial Portuguese Africa.
Her films were screened in many festivals, such as Rotterdam, Venice, and Locarno where she was given the award “Leopard de Demain” in 1999.
She has been a regular guest speaker in conferences, master classes and workshops in several countries all over the world. She has been invited as jury member in many festivals, such as DocLisboa International Documentary Film Festival, and Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival.

Cinema cycle, 23, 24 & 25 June 2021

The organizing team has selected a list of free virtual screenings to complement the event. The screenings will take place from 23 to 25 June. The films include shorts and features, documentary and fiction, showcasing some of the most fascinating works in the Ibero-American scene of the past ten years.

The selected films include: Horse Money, by Pedro Costa (winner of Best Director award at Locarno Film Festival), a poetic reflection on the legacy of Portuguese colonialism; Understory, by Margarida Cardoso, tackling the imperialistic connotations of cocoa plantations; and Fátima, by João Canijo, framing the power conflicts and tests of faith among a group of pilgrims.

The films will be made available on Vimeo links according to our programming. 

All screenings are free prior to inscription
via Google Form:

This pre-congress has been organized by Mariana Duarte, Anastasiya Maksymchuk, Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir and Jacopo Wassermann, who are all PhD students in Media Arts at Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. The team was assisted by Célia Quico, José Gomes Pinto, Patrícia Franco, Jorge Bruno and Filipe Vale.

Short-films, 18h00
Understory, 20h00
Fátima (available all day)
Cavalo Dinheiro, 20h30
Fátima (available all day)
Fátima (available all day)


Pedro Costa | Portugal | 1h 43min

During the Carnation Revolution, the people of the Fontaínhas neighborhood look for Ventura, who lost his way in the dark woods.


João Canijo | Portugal | 3h23m

May 2016. A group of 11 women set off from a village in the extreme north of Portugal on pilgrimage to Fátima. They walk 400km on foot over 10 days, crossing half of Portugal in a great effort to fulfill their promises. The extreme fatigue, suffering and physical limitations of each one of them lead to moments of rupture. Then they reveal their deeper identities and motivations. When arriving in Fatima, in the midst of enormous exhaustion, each one will have to find her own way to redemption. 


Margarida Cardoso | Portugal | 1h21m

Men and plants have journeyed together since ever in a reciprocal relationship which - for better or worse – has drastically changed the world. The legendary cacao tree, originally from Amazonia, has spread around the world along the narrow equatorial strip where it thrives. Planted on a grand scale with recourse to forced labour, the history of cacao has always been linked to the darker side of industrial production and the greed of the large mass markets. Through short stories about nature, people and places, Understory is a reflection on a world in the shade.

The Disinherited

Laura Ferrés Moreno | Spain | 18m

THE DISINHERITED is a portrait of the director's father facing the end of his family business. Pere Ferrés is 53 years old and owns a bus company. Lack of money forces him to drive clients who destroy his vehicle to bachelor parties, but he is not prepared to lose his dignity.


Joanna Cristina Nelson | Venezuela| 15m

A middle-class working professional struggles to buy food amid Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis. When his mother asks him to buy flour for her birthday cake, a conflict arises.

Escape From My Eyes

Felipe Bragança | 2015 | 33m

Documentary and fiction intermingle as we witness the memories of three men who live in a refugee camp located in the heart of Berlin.

A balada de um batráquio

Leonor Teles | Portugal | 12m

The short deals with the ambiguous way in which gypsies are framed by society: both strange and familiar, distant and near, frightening and alluring, alien and worldly.

The two halves

Gwen Joyaux | Argentina | 4 m

Aristotle, Cleopatra and Darwin considered earthworms essential, even sacred creatures. But the only thing we learn about earthworms it's that if someone cut them in half, they will regenerate. This story demystifies that belief. This is a story about someone who was cut in two when she was born, but only one half made it through. The half with the head survived, as earthworms do.

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