After two editions, the International Film and Literature Festival becomes the Festival of the whole of the Algarve and is based in the city of Faro: FICLA (Algarve International Film and Literature Festival) celebrates its 3rd Edition between the 2nd and the 11th of June at various venues throughout the city of Faro.
Over the 10th and 11th of December last year, we presented a series of activities: a screening of the film Destello Bravío with a masterclass by the director, Ainhoa Rodríguez; a conference-performance by Sónia Baptista, followed by a colloquium between Ainhoa Rodríguez, Sónia Baptista and Ana Isabel Soares about desire and the female body in contemporary cinema and literature; and ended with a jam of texts and music by Tomás Tello. It is with this that we intend to reveal and explore a new Festival methodology that pays fresh attention to themes we consider fundamental to reflect upon – whether in a specific cycle or as a transversal theme of the festival – addressing cinema and literature, side by side, while taking into account what is inherent to each artistic practice.
From its beginning, this film and literature festival has put itself forward, not as a festival of adaptations, but rather as a festival that wants to go beyond to seek other connections between the two artistic practices, even unexpected connections. In 2020, with the screening of different films in the second edition, we have already dealt with subjects such as identity and the dissociation of consciousness, a theme that was a major subject of 20th century literature. Now, we will look at both artistic practices as fields of convergence or divergence in concrete themes, too. Thus, taking a fresh new look at these two artistic practices and adopting new methodology will, from a sociological point of view, provide a richer and broader spectrum for contemporary discussion.
For this 3rd edition, we have adopted a symbol of transformation and metamorphosis: the chameleon. The most important aspect of this symbol is, precisely, the process of mutation and change that is linked to all human existence and artistic creation. This metamorphosis permeates the entire festival, from the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha to the cycle Bodies: “I am rooted, but I flow”, and on through into the official competition. As we make clear in the text of this cycle Bodies, the focus has to be more on the processes than on the concepts and, therefore, more than on merely finding out who we are, but on pointing out who we want to become and, above all, on observing what we are transforming ourselves into, moving away from fixed and castrating conceptions of identity. A strange nomadic streak runs through the festival, from its methodology to its programming.
In the selection for the Official Competition, we will find shifting realities, as in After Blue or Los Conductos, with their hallucinatory realism; in Eami or in They Carry Death, with their magic realism; surrealistic and psychedelic, phantasmagorical and delirious trips as in After Blue, Los Conductos, Medusa, Eami, Eles Transportan a Morte or in Bengali Variation; dissident sexual identities as in Moon 66 Questions, After Blue or Heartbeast; and, as well, the joyfulness of play and liberation as in Waters of the Pastaza and Medusa.
Several of the filmmakers are visual artists and/or musicians, musicologists and writers. We will, therefore, open our eyes (our peripheral vision, too) and ears wide to enjoy the sound design of not only the films in competition, but also of the films in the cycles, namely those of the director, writer, musicologist, theorist and poet who will be present at the festival – the Vietnamese Trinh T. Minh-ha. In the poetic sense, sound and image have to be conceived relationally. Music will always be present at the festival, before, during and after the film screenings.
FICLA was welcomed with open arms by Faro City Hall, which led to this edition becoming an official co-production. We would like to thank the Mayor of Faro Town Hall Dr. Rogério Bacalhau; the Vice President and Alderman for Culture Dr. Paulo Santos, and last but not least, the Head of the Culture Division Dr. Bruno Inácio. An equally special thank you is owed to the Algarve Regional Directorate of Culture, which has accompanied the project from its first steps and continues today to show its warm support. And, finally, we cannot fail to thank the IPDJ, which will be the main home of the festival’s film screenings.