A Portuguese filmmaker chairs the Giornate degli Autori jury

This year it will be João Pedro Rodrigues heading the jury of Giornate degli Autori. The Portuguese filmmaker, screenwriter, editor, actor and producer presented his LGBT+-themed short film Parabéns!  at the Venice Film Festival in 1997. After a pair of medium-length films, Rodrigues was back at Venice in 2000, this time in competition, for the premiere of his debut feature O Fantasma. Since then, his films have been selected for the leading international film festivals (Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Toronto, San Sebastián, and, naturally, the aforementioned Venice).  In 2016 Rodrigues won the Best Direction Award at Locarno, for his film O Ornitólogo. Last year his Fogo-Fatuo bowed at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and was shortlisted for the 2023 LUX Audience Award.

Honestly, who has better credentials than Rodrigues to head the 27 Times Cinema program this year? Organized by Giornate degli Autori, the European Parliament’s LUX Audience Award, and Europa Cinemas, in collaboration with Cineuropa, the project sees 27 young European cinephiles – and European Parliament ambassadors as well – make up the official jury for Giornate degli Autori. Coordinated by the director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Karel Och, the young men and women will join jury president João Pedro Rodrigues in Venice to declare the winning film honored with the GdA Director’s Award, the only official prize handed out by the independent sidebar promoted by ANAC and 100autori in parallel to the Venice Film Festival.

Following in the footsteps of Céline Sciamma and the unique duo composed of Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, who bestowed the award two years ago on the Romanian film Imaculat by Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark – it went on to snag the De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film out of all the Venice offerings that year – João Pedro Rodrigues will be guiding his bold young crew for ten days this year, as they set off in search of the film in Giornate’s Official Selection that best reflects the meaning of the award: the courage to see the world through new eyes.

“I am thrilled at the idea of chairing a jury of 27 young European cinephiles” observed João Pedro Rodrigues “As a young cinephile at 15 years of age, I developed a radical, passionate relationship with cinema. I’m looking forward to finding the radicality and individuality of each one of the jury members.”

“Just one year after the triumph of the Portuguese film Lobo e Cão by Claudia Varejão, named Best Film at Giornate degli Autori,” declares Gaia Furrer, Artistic Director of Giornate degli Autori, “it gives me immense pleasure to continue our love story with Portuguese cinema by welcoming one of its preeminent contemporary filmmakers. Selecting João Pedro Rodrigues as Jury President for the 20th anniversary edition of Giornate degli Autori means celebrating cinema that is free-spirited, provocative, versatile, and up to the task of probing our times audaciously and irreverently. I am convinced that for the young jury members at Giornate degli Autori, interacting with a filmmaker of this stature will be an electrifying experience.”

“There are many ways to interpret the role of a jury president,” General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti reminds us. “One can use one’s own charisma to promote a specific idea of cinema, or else decide to place one’s skills at the service of a small community of ‘experts’, mediating their quest for a compelling verdict. In the unique case of the Giornate jury, however, the president is called upon to listen and be open to all that is new – that novelty which young eyes know how to seek out, making the jury president master and apprentice at the same time. This year’s president has a story and a talent that guarantee the uniqueness of his role.”

João Pedro Rodrigues is an internationally renowned Portuguese filmmaker. When he was eight years old, his father gave him a pair of binoculars and he decided to become an ornithologist. He always travels with his binoculars, to foray into nature and watch birds. His work explores gender and human desire in all its guises – and disguises – reflecting the multifarious history of film, from classical genre to documentary and experimental film. His films have premiered and won prizes at the world’s foremost film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Toronto and Berlin. In 2016, the Pompidou Centre in Paris honored Rodrigues and his partner, João Rui Guerra da Mata, with a complete retrospective and video installation.

2022 Onde Fica Esta Rua? Ou Sem Antes Nem Depois (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, doc)
2022 Fogo-Fátuo
2021 Um Quarto na Cidade (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, short, doc)
2020 Turdus merula Linnaeus, 1758 (short)
2017 Où en êtes-vous, João Pedro Rodrigues? (short, doc)
2016 O Ornitólogo
2014 Iec Long (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, doc)
2013 Mahjong (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, short)
2013 O Corpo de Afonso (cm)
2012 A Última Vez Que Vi Macau (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, doc)
2012 Manhã de Santo António (short)
2011 Alvorada Vermelha (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, short)
2009 Morrer Como um Homem
2007 China, China (co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, short)
2005 Odete
2000 O Fantasma
1998 Viagem à Expo (medium-length film, doc)
1997 Esta é a Minha Casa (medium-length film, doc)
1997 Parabéns! (short)
1988 O Pastor (short)