FOCUS 2022 / Portugal


PRIMEIRA IDADE is an independent film production structure founded in Portugal in 2014 out of the wish to provide each film its own unique and unrepeatable mode of production. It produced the most internationally acclaimed Portuguese feature documentary of 2020: The Metamorphosis of Birds, written and directed by Catarina Vasconcelos, distinguished with more than 40 international film prizes, among them the FIPRESCI award for Best Film at the Berlinale’s Encounters program, the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera prize for best film at San Sebastian IFF, the Grand Prix of the New Horizons Film Festival in Poland, the Best Film Award of the Vilnius IFF, the Special Jury Prize of the Taipei Film Festival, the Golden Apricot at Yerevan IFF, the Best International Documentary at Victoria Film Festival, or Best Film at Dokufest, among others. It was voted Portugal’s official entry for the Oscars in 2021. Commercially distributed in China, Portugal, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, USA, among others, it was sold for streaming worldwide to Netflix. Other documentary productions by Primeira Idade have been screened at FID Marseille, Visions du Réel, Jihlava IDFF, DocLisboa, and fiction-short film productions premiered in Rotterdam, Berlinale and Cannes.

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Directed by Gabriel Azorín / 90’/ Project status: in financing / Production: Dvein Films (Spain), Filmika Galaika (Galicia) / Budget: 988 478 € / Adcquired budget: 182 535 €
António (16) is always very aware of everything Jota (17) says and does. One very cold winter afternoon, the two of them cross the border into Spain with their friends in search of some ancient Roman baths. At nightfall, when there is no trace of our contemporary world, António dares to tell Jota he is afraid that soon they will no longer be friends and that he will be alone. It is then that we discover there are other boys bathing, they are the Roman soldiers who built the baths 2000 years before. Aurelius (19 years old), Pompey (21 years old) and their colleagues are all celebrating their last night before leaving for the war front in Dacia.

Directed by Cíntia Gil / 75’ / Project status: partially shot and looking for additional financing / Production: Primeira Idade (Portugal) / Budget: 120 000 € / Adcquired budget: 35 000 €

In 1972, haunted by dictatorship, a young Portuguese man wants to disappear and come back to life under a new identity. He joins the French Foreign Legion, and starts his instruction in Corsica. He is a good legionnaire. He feels he’ll lose his mind and escapes after 11 months. He wrote a letter to his mother every week. Somewhere in the 2000’s, a young boy plays in the garden of his dead grandfather. His mother plays with him, but she’s behind the camera. They discover the distance of time growing between them – everything changes. They discover the letters of the young man.

Directed by Salomé Lamas / 90’ / Project status: development and financing stage / Production: Primeira Idade (Portugal), Joel Benson Multimedia Studios (Nigeria) / Budget: 320 000 € / Adcquired budget: 145 000 €

Capitalocene. From above, the abstract monumentality of the Niger Delta (Nigeria), redefined by human ambition into environmental catastrophe. Existential fable. Another no-man’s-land, where the blackness or the psychopathology of (Frantz) Fanon’s colonization (and other African philosophers) seems now like an empty sound, and scholar debates, that understand neocolonialism, echo distant and misfit. In the war for oil, we find the resentment of a region forgotten and cursed by its resources.