Coastin': Portuguese Short Film Festival to premiere in New Bedford
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Courtesy photo “God by the Neck” (“Dios por el Cuello”), a film by by Jose Trigueiros, is part of the lineup of films to be screened at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. It relates the experiences of 8-year-old Pablo, who has an invitation to a very special but also forbidden birthday party.
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LOGIN | REGISTER | SUBSCRIBE By Mick Colageo [email protected]-t.com September 11, 2014 12:00 AM
Jose Trigueiros grew up in Lisbon in a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, and as a young child he accompanied his devoted mother on door-to-door visits spreading their message and handing out publications. His film, "Dios Por El Cuello" ("God by the Neck"), is the winner of the NY Portuguese Short Film Festival that will hold a free New Bedford premiere 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Whaling Museum Theater.
"What's really interesting, I think, all of the films are either produced in Portugal or produced by Portuguese filmmakers," said Stephanie Poyant Moran, senior director of marketing and public relations for the Whaling Museum.
The festival, the first Portuguese short film festival in the United States, is held annually in New York and Lisbon and has debuted in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasil, and Angola's capital city of Luanda. New Bedford's premiere is the result of a partnership with New York-based producer and host Arte Institute and in local partnership with the Portuguese consulate in New Bedford.
"We're really excited about this partnership. We were actually approached so it's really exciting that it's coming to New Bedford and we have an opportunity to share," said Moran, noting that the lineup of 18 short films includes a promotional short for another featured film. "(The films are) very, very different. Some are within a two-minute time frame — really short."
Trigueiros is part of a new generation of young Portuguese filmmakers gaining exposure through the festival in several countries. His film is a reality-based fiction among animations and documentaries.
In "God by the Neck," an 8-year-old boy likes a girl from school, but instead of going to a party for their class he must make his first door-to-door voyage at his mother's side.
"It didn't traumatize me, and this film is not supposed to criticize Jehovah's Witnesses in any way," said Trigueiros in a subtitled-in-English interview that can be viewed online at artinstitute.org. "This film intends to talk about forms of misguided love. ... The Jehovah's Witnesses were a pretext since it's a reality that was very close to me. In the film school they said to us, 'This is your first short film so tell a story that is intimate and personal in such a way that you can be close to that story. That was the starting point."
"God by the Neck" and the rest of the films in the festival will be shown in English or with English subtitles. The program will be divided into two 90-minute blocks separated by a 30-minute intermission with refreshments courtesy of the Arte Institute.
The event, also sponsored by the William M. Wood Foundation, is free, but with the Whaling Museum theater's 230-person capacity reservations are being recommended via registration at www.whaling museum.org or by calling (508) 997-0046 ext. 100. For more information, visit www.whalingmuseum.org