25 August 2020

Indie Lisboa program features Gulbenkian Foundation supported films

Films by Catarina Mourão and Catarina Vasconcelos, which feature on this year’s Indie Lisboa festival program, received support from the Gulbenkian Culture Program.

Indie Lisboa

The Metamorphosis of the Birds, by Catarina Vasconcelos, and Ana and Maurizio, by Catarina Mourão, are to be shown at Cinema São Jorge and Culturgest respectively during the Festival’s 17th annual edition that takes place between 25 August and 5 September.


The Metamorphosis of the Birds arrives at Indie after having picked up a series of prizes from previous festivals – International Critics Award -FIPRESCI at the Berlinale, where it received its world premiere, the Best Film Award at the Vilnius Festival in Lithuania, as well as a Special Award from the Jury for the Taipei Cinema Festival.

The first feature-length film from this director is a documentary-fiction based on a nuclear family – father and mother – and their many memories alongside so many other unknown stories that here take on their own lives. The film received support from the Foundation in 2015 for its International Distribution and in order to participate in the ARCHIDOC workshop under the original title Distant Lovers and Imaginary Homelands. This is an international platform that accompanies feature-length documentary projects that work with archive materials.

Ana and Maurizio derives from the personal story of the artist Ana Marchand in order to bring together writings by Xuanzang, a 7th century Chinese Buddhist monk, on his visit to Benares; by Maurizio Piscicelli, an Italian official, great-uncle of Ana Marchand, who accompanied the Duchess of Aosta to Benares and authored the book Verso il sol levante; by Helene of Orleans – the Duchess of Aosta (and sister of Queen Amelie of Portugal), author of a book about Benares, Verso il sole qui si leva; and the writing by Ana Marchand herself on her extensive travels in India.

Ana Marchand acts as the temporal linchpin for the various periods described by the aforementioned authors, gathered into the memories presented belonging to the fictional and family characters. It is through the book by her great-uncle, read in her childhood, that the film articulates a narrative of self-awareness that enables the bringing together of the pieces of a family puzzle on their own cultural, sexual and philosophical identity.

Ana and Maurizio received support from the Foundation within the framework of support for special and transversal Cinema projects in 2016. This film follows in the logic of its predecessors – The Wolf’s Lair and The Sea Rolls with the Sand – both supported by the Foundation. Through their cinematographic language, both Catarina Mourão and Ana Marchand embark on journeys to construct the identities of their own families.


Festival Program