Porto Femme 2020 – Interview with Rita Capucho and Ana Castro

In the 3rd edition of Porto Femme, from 6 to 10 October 2020 in Porto, we interviewed Rita Capucho and Ana Castro (with a short intervention by Lucas Tavares), members of the Board of the International Film Festival, whose objective is to give visibility to women filmmakers.


Ana Martins – Porto Femme emerged in 2018, in Oporto, as a space for sharing, debating, and creating for all filmmakers. The objective is to raise awareness, inform and awaken the public to social and political issues that affect women around the world. When and how did the festival arise and the will to promote women’s work in cinema?

Rita Capucho – The festival came about in a conversation with Ana Catarina Pereira about an article she had written. In 2012, she said there was no women’s film festival in Portugal, something that had existed in other countries since 1979. In 2016, we got together with the idea of bringing the festival to Oporto, where the feminist movement was quite strong. Lisbon already had the Olhares do Mediterrâneo. We felt that it would be the perfect city to host this project, as there could be room for the feminist struggle to thrive… a space for dialogue and an intersection with these movements and collectives.

AM – Porto Femme has four competitions: National, International, XX Element and Students. How did you conceive the 3rd edition of the festival? What are its objectives and main subjects?

RC – This year we are going to put the spotlight on films about motherhood and family, like the documentary Malamadre (2019) by Amparo González Aguilar.

Ana Castro – We will also have two films in competition that portray situations of domestic violence, and relationships between mothers, fathers, and children.

RC – We will also have themes related to feminicide, the LGBTQ+ community, black feminism, transgender identity, and female sexuality.

AM – This year, Porto Femme honours Margarida Cordeiro, Isabel Ruth, and Fernanda Lapa. When, where, and how will the tribute be made?

RC – The tribute will be made at the film screening at Cinema Trindade and with the publication of articles in our catalogue. We will show the film Ana (1982) by António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, with the support of Cinemateca, together with an article by Ilda Castro. As a tribute to Isabel Ruth, we will have her presence in the screening of O Sapo e a Riga (2018) by Inês Oliveira. Finally, we will also pay tribute to Fernanda Lapa, who did a relevant work with Escola das Mulheres, a theatre company with a similar purpose to ours. We will screen Luísa Sequeira’s film about a play written by the honoured woman, with the support of RTP.

AM – As part of the festival, an exhibition with artistic efforts created during the lockdown will open on October 6 at Casa das Associações – FAJDP (Porto), Femme Quarantine, to highlight art as an important means for mental health. How did the idea of including an exhibition in a film festival come about? What is the aim of emphasizing the importance of art for mental health?

Lucas Tavares (organizing committee) – I proposed the challenge to Rita when we were getting to the end of the lockdown. I noticed that several works had been created during that period. There are several reasons to create in such an unstable period and I think the works reflect that. Whether it’s the will to run away, to reflect on the moment we live in, or to maintain sanity in such a difficult phase. Having visual artists in a film festival is justified because it is quite difficult to separate artistic practices, as everything is part of the creative act.

AM – Porto Femme has a programme at the Maus Hábitos – Espaço de Intervenção Cultural (Porto) throughout the year. Will we still be able to watch your film cycles? Will this edition continue online?

RC – We will continue with the sessions at the Maus Hábitos, but also at the Avenida in Aveiro. Our goal is to have more itinerant sessions and increase our online presence, as an extension of the festival and as a formative component. In all editions, we have workshops. This year, we have invited Catarina Mourão and Antonella Estévez. The festival will go beyond October 10, with online sessions.

Ana Martins (Porto, 1990) holds a degree in Cinema by the ESTC-IPL, Heritage Management by the ESE-IPP and has a Masters in Art Studies – Museological and Curatorial Studies by the FBAUP, with a thesis on “O Cinema Exposto – Entre a Galeria e o Museu: Exposições de Realizadores Portugueses (2001-2020)”. She was a researcher in the Projeto CHIC - Cooperative Holistic view on Internet Content based on the artist film integration from Plano Nacional de Cinema and the FBAUP’s content creation for the Catálogo Online de Filmes e Vídeos de Artistas Portugueses. She had a fellowship by the inED - Centro de Investigação e Inovação em Educação, and was involved in the production, communication and cultural event support areas. She collaborates in the filed of Art Direction in cinema, television and advertisement. She’s one of the founders and curators of the Coletivo Hera. She writes for Umbigo magazine.

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