03 Aug

CineEco 27th Edition with Record Number of Films in Competition

Portugal, France and Spain are the countries with the greatest cinematographic representation in the Official Competition of the 27th edition of the Serra da Estrela International Environmental Film Festival - CineEco. This year, the oldest environmental film festival in the world receives a record number of 93 films from more than 20 countries that can be seen between 9 and 16 October, at the Municipal House of Culture in Seia.

LIPOR and its 8 Associated Municipalities join for the 4th consecutive year the Serra da Estrela International Environmental Film Festival – CineEco, the only film festival in Portugal, totally dedicated to environmental issues, in its widest sense.

The documentaries in competition deal with multidisciplinary themes such as the current climate situation, toxic colonialism, pandemics and other diseases, the struggle of communities to defend regional ecosystems, sustainable future, maritime pollution, environmental justice, among others. "CineEco returns this year with an Official Selection guided by the growing quality of the films in the competition, some of which are true poetic odes and dramatic visions of reality, always with a strong awareness component and the need to search for new solutions and activism, that can guarantee the perpetuation of our own existence in the near future”, emphasizes the direction of CineEco Seia.

In the International Feature Film Competition, one of the most relevant at CineEco, 11 documentaries enter the competition. In "Une fois que tu sais” by Emmanuel Cappellin, the French director asks us a disturbing question: How can we go about our lives knowing what awaits us? This documentary takes us "on board” of a transformative odyssey that touches our innermost being in the face of the "inevitability of our own decline”. From Switzerland comes Svetlana Rodina's "Ostrov - Lost Island”, an empathetic and moving vision of a family from the island of Ostrov, in the Caspian Sea, known as the largest saltwater lake in the world, that survives on illegal hunting. The screening of the most recent documentary by renowned photographer, director and environmental activist, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is also eagerly awaited. After the acclaimed "Home” and the photo essay, "Earth From Above”, the French director shows at CineEco his most personal film in "Legacy, notre héritage”, a vivid portrait of climate change, sustainable development and preservation of biodiversity. "Living Water”, by director and anthropologist Pavel Borecký, tells us about an environmental time bomb and the story of the struggle between Bedouins, engineers and farmers for the "blue gold”, in one of the poorest countries in terms of water resources, the Jordan. "Douce France” by Geoffrey Couanon leads us in the unexpected investigation of a group of young students into a controversial leisure park that threatens farms near their homes. A passionate and lively account of young people who dare to question. The director Venice de Castro Atienza brings to CineEco "Last Days at Sea”, a trip through the past summer of Reyboy, a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small, isolated fishing village in the Philippines. A documentary about time suspended, at sea, in the eyes of a child who has to live in the city. "The Last Hillbilly”, by directors Diane Sara Bouzgarrou and Thomas Jenkoe, takes us through the experiences of a family that lives in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. With the closure of the coal mines, they are trapped in the mythical past of a world that has disappeared. "Ophir”, by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet, tells the story of the indigenous revolution in Bougainville for the defence of their culture, life and land in one of the youngest nations in the world, in Papua New Guinea. From Russian director Shasha Voronov comes "Mom, I Befriended Ghosts”, a documentary about a small town in Siberia trapped for months in quarantine, the result of a mysterious disease caused by the water the inhabitants drink. In this film, the director imagines the change in the relationship between people and nature; some parallelism with what we have experienced in the last year and a half of the pandemic may or may not be pure coincidence. From Canada comes Cody Westman's "Hell or Clean Water”, a film about a 'change maker', sea pollution and the uneven struggle of an unlikely scuba-hero from Newfoundland and Labrador. "Arica” by Lars Edman and William Johansson Kalén tackles a large-scale scandal over the 'toxic colonialism' of a Swedish mining giant who once dumped 20,000 tonnes of hazardous waste in the city of Arica in northern Chile, damaging the health of its inhabitants. This documentary tells the story of survivors who sought justice for over 15 years.

In the CineEco International Short Film Competition, 45 documentaries from various countries compete, 7 of which are national productions, namely: "Hope”, by Paulo Ferreira; "Woman as a Tree” (a co-production with Galicia, Spain) by Alejandro Vázquez San Miguel, Carmen Tortosa, Daniela Cajías, Flávio Ferreira and Helder Faria; "#fishingtheplastic” by Marina Lobo; "Estrelinha do Geopark”, by Luís Augusto Fonseca de Araújo; "The last drop - Algarve”, by Almargem - Association for the Defense of the Environmental and Cultural Heritage of the Algarve; "Between bees and turbot”, by Ana Linnea Lidegran Correia; and "Vale do Aurotni”, by Graça Gomes.

This year, environmental cinema in Portuguese language is also once again in the spotlight in the TV Series and Reports Competition which, as in the last edition, represents more than half of the works in competition in this specific category. From all the films in Competition at the 27th edition of CineEco, 39 are Portuguese documentaries produced between 2020 and 2021.

This year's programmers are again Bruno Manique, former President of the Centro Portugal Film Commission, Rúben Sevivas, director, producer, trainer, actor and cultural programmer, and Tiago Alves, journalist, director, radio announcer and film programmer, presenter of the Cinemax program on Antena 1 and RTP2. It should be noted that CineEco 2021 has as its official sponsors the presenter Júlio Isidro and the actress Sofia Alves.

Learn more: cineeco.pt

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