2017 Spring edition


Showcasing innovative independent cinema from around the world by up-and-coming artists.

In association with Venice Film Week.

Aiming to inspire, motivate and award new talent.

The next edition is approaching
  • 00


  • 00


  • 00


  • 00



The Lisbon International Film Festival is a quarterly online film festival meant to showcase innovative independent cinema from around the world by up-and-coming artists.

The festival hopes to be the voice and representation for films with a unique voice and message, regardless of how low the budget might be.

Aiming to inspire, motivate and award new talent.



Lisbon Bull Award (aka ‘Best of the Fest’)
Best Narrative Short Film
Valencia (United States) by Logan George

Catherine’s early morning drive is interrupted when she’s faced with an accident on the side of the road. Accosted by calls from her estranged sister and late to the reading of her father’s will, but the only one on the scene, she forces herself to exit her car.

Best Narrative Feature Film
Young and Miserable or a Man Screaming is not A Dancing Bear (Brazil) by Thiago B. Mendonça

A group of artists test the borders between art and life. With theatre, music and performance art in public spaces, they try and create a revolutionary consciousness. They join the protests against the 2014 World Cup and witness violence and police repression. But the nearer the spectacle comes, the wider the cracks in the collective's solidarity. The dream of art influencing life is overtaken by life itself. Made on a minimal budget, the film is a powerful portrait of a young generation of political artists and was inspired by an essay by Pier Paolo Pasolini in which he criticized materialism – and by the surreal poetry of Aimé Cesaire.

Best Documentary Feature Film
Atentamente (Colombia) by Camila Rodríguez Triana

ATENTAMENTE is a film that, through the sensation of the time passing by and the presence of the death that wanders into a nursing home, allows us to feel the life through the illusion that love brings along. Libardo and Alba, a couple of elders who met each other at the nursing home where they live, they fall for, they become boyfriends and start to struggle in order to find fifty thousand pesos to rent a room for one night at a hotel so they can have a privacy moment, since at the nursing home where they live is not possible to have that. While struggling they must face each other, face their fears, their limitations, their pains, their time as well as their fragility so they can construct that moment in which they meet love. A struggle that seems to be easy, but for them is an odyssey against time, against their limitations and their own ghosts.

Best Documentary Short Film
Drag Kings (United Kingdom) by Elizabeth Valentina Sutton

Drag Kings is a short documentary exploring the staunch and resilient spirit of people who perform masculinity on stage. The film follows three drag kings from across the UK struggling with the inequality that they face within the drag community. In the shadow of drag queens, the kings are creating art that holds a mirror up to what it means to be human, rather than simply being defined by their assigned gender.

Best Animated Short Film
Flutter (United States) by Vladimir Todorov

FLUTTER is a short animated film about despair, hope and the power of love. FLUTTER ’s main character, Fleo, is trapped in a body that keeps him pinned to the ground. While others can defy the laws of gravity and fly freely above his head, Fleo can only watch from a distance. He is an outcast, destined to trudge through life. But desperation leads to innovation, and then to an unexpected discovery. With a pair of wings strapped to his back, Fleo’s first attempt at flying becomes a heart-stopping rescue mission. After saving the life of a helpless stranger, Fleo has to make a choice. Does he continue on his flight path, or does he go back to being “grounded”? Realizing that love and companionship are more powerful than the laws of gravity, Fleo embraces his impediment, and lets his heart do the soaring instead.

Best Underground Film
Our Own Private Universe (United States) by Ben Balcom

Our language is unreliable. Is meaning adding up or emptying out? Through these possible scenes we simply need these actors to play their parts in order to mask the wilting of a fiction. They talk all at once. What do they say? Which lives do they speak of? To have been is not enough for them. Our dialogue is uncertain. In the meantime, let them converse calmly, since they are incapable of keeping silent.

Best Experimental Film
Blank Girl (Belgium) by Alain Tjiong

Blank Girl. Only a face 
of a woman.
 The face of cinema. 
 Only a surface. 
 Shimmers in the dark. 
 Shadows of the night. 
 We are calling to you. 
 Come, and haunt us.

Best Portuguese Cinema Now
Bohemians (Portugal) by Dúbio

Rafael is a young up-and-comer photographer. As he starts getting success in his professional life, he starts dating the woman of his dreams, only to find his ex-girlfriend still haunts him. All of this is narrated by Rafael, now in his 60's, reading pages from an old journal, as his memories get mixed up with his dreams.

Official Selection - Narrative Feature Films
Halumim / Beneath the Silence (Israel) by Erez Mizrahi

1973, a small family crumbles due to the father’s PTSD, on the verge of the Yom Kipur War.

Official Selection - Narrative Feature Films
Access All Areas (United Kingdom) by Bryn Higgins

An unlikely gang of teenagers are catapulted on the run from their dysfunctional parents to an island music festival, where the rules of the real world don’t apply.

Official Selection - Narrative Feature Films
TA MERE! (Morocco) by Touria Benzari

Sofia, a young French woman, lives with her Moroccan parents in Dijon, Burgundy. At the age of 17, on a summer holiday in Marrakech, she falls in love with Salim, a young Moroccan about her age . Their respective families, too happy of this affaire ,push'em for a quick marriage. And that's where the troubles begin.

Official Selection - Narrative Feature Films
Outlandish (Belgium) by Björn Schmelzer

A man in a small port embarks unseen on a stranger's boat. Once discovered, the introvert owner lets him join his journey. Soon it's clear the trip is without end and without real purpose and the boat itself seems to be their destiny. The unforeseen appearance of an island makes the man change his fate. In Antwerp he shows up as Raphael Hythloday meeting Thomas More and the city secretary Peter Gillis. A garden diner should bring them closer together, but things end up differently and Thomas More gives up on his book...OUTLANDISH can hardly be called an adaptation, let's say, it's a heretic mise-en-abyme of utopia itself.

Official Selection - Documentary Feature Films
Strange Strangers (Italy) by Elisa Amoruso

Five women arrive in Italy from different countries: Sihem (Tunisia), Radi (Bulgaria), Sonia (China), Ana (Croatia) and Ljuba (Serbia). They arrived in Italy in search of love, work, freedom, sometimes by fate. They came to Italy with one life and exchanged it for another, each of them creating their own businesses. Their experiences cross and give life to a story about what it means to find a new identity. While their individual stories are different, they each share the experience of being strangers in a strange land.

Official Selection - Documentary Feature Films
I go back home - Jimmy Scott (United States) by Yoon Ha Chang

I Go Back Home – Jimmy Scott tells the story of jazz legend Jimmy Scott and disillusioned producer and composer Ralf Kemper who took on the journey to produce an album with the almost-forgotten icon. Jimmy Scott, friend of Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and one of the last connections to the golden age of jazz, was described as “perhaps the most unjustly ignored American singer of the 20th century,” by the New York Times. Personally discontented, Kemper becomes obsessed with the idea of bringing attention to his hero, but it takes a tragedy to put his thoughts into action. By the time Kemper and Scott meet, Scott is 85 years-old and living in obscurity in Las Vegas. Reliant on his wife and reliant on a wheelchair, Kemper is shocked by Jimmy’s surprisingly bad health condition which puts his dream at risk before it even begins. While Ralf’s problems grow, Jimmy’s bloom more and more. Ralf gathers some of the most important jazz musicians in the studio in tribute for Scott. Together with many of Scott’s old friends like Quincy Jones, Joe Pesci and James Moody, Kemper pursues his dream. He can’t give up. He spares no expense and reaches the limits of what can be done to capture Jimmy’s unique voice in a race against time.

Official Selection - Documentary Feature Films
Pedalo (Spain) by Juan Palacios

A young filmmaker travels back home to Basque Country to follow three friends on a surreal nautical voyage. Riding a second-hand paddle boat, they pedal over 150km along the entire Basque coast from Hendaia (French Basque Country) to Bilbao in an attempt to rediscover their country’s shoreline. However, as a paddle boat is not made for the rough Basque sea, things don’t go as planned. The journey becomes a delirium with unforeseen accidents, folkloric parties, hangovers, a shaman, a funeral… Documenting the expedition of these “sailors” on his own, the filmmaker finds himself on a parallel inner journey.

Official Selection - Documentary Feature Films
Bread and angels (Morocco) by Rachid Biyi

In Casablanca, one conflict has been persisting for more than five years now, between Najat, Aziza, Fanida, the State and activists of Human rights. Each one of themis dedicated, in the midst of a frustrating see-saw relationship, to their idea about the future of a unique cemetery in Morocco, a place that is still virtual, place of memory, built for the victims of the Bread Revolt of June, 1981. Rachid, 30 years old, its caretaker, lives in total silence and isolation, in a cemetery that no one visits and without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
The Eye and the Brow (Greece) by Kostis Charamountanis

The associative thoughts of a lonely man who has committed suicide out of love.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Mechul (Turkey) by Sami Morhayim and Deniz Koray Yılmaz

Meçhul, is a man who seeks meaning in life by writing books. Without having any success in his career, Meçhul seeks to write a new book which will give him the achievement he desired for years. As he tries to finish his book, he will have to fight both his personal and environmental challenges.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Hidden Lust (Egypt) by Beshoy Youssef

The film points out the dark side that lives inside each one of us, and how it spreads out as life gets tougher! It presents the story of “Radyah” who starts her marital life with “Sayed”, a man who decides to make her spends her first wedding night, in a huge dreadful box.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
âh (Turkey) by S.Buse Yildirim

The film portrays the loss of sense of belonging to the earth, the milieu where she is being. "Ah" does not tell a story, It brings up an abstract narration of a state of being, in other words it depicts a kind of visual narration of a young woman’s psychological state of mind that tell us about the trajectory of the vicious cycle of her inner world.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Absence (Argentina) by Carolina De Luca

A woman is missing another one, who was her lover and dance partner. She is living as detained in her memories until she can dance them. A relationship of dance and love as well. Absence of the loved one as the territory of uncertainty. Loss as presence and dance as sublimation.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Penalty (Italy) by Aldo Iuliano

A group of guys plays football in the middle of nowhere. At stake is much more than a simple victory.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Ke Ni (United States) by zhifan jia

A Chinese astronaut, a Chinese boy; one encounter, two journeys.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Fever (United States) by Celine Held and Logan George

Four young people unknowingly walk toward a moment in their lives when a fever overtakes them, bringing out their most basic instincts.

Official Selection - Narrative Short Films
Never Land (United Kingdom) by Anna Hoghton

"Mrs Applebee says the sea is rising… One day it will rise so high that it swallows everything up… And the strange thing is that no one seems to care." After mishearing a pair of fishermen (John Nettles and Brian Bovell) talking about the superior flood barriers in The Netherlands, Noah devises an escape plan to ‘Never Land’. The only person who takes an interest in his plan is Katie (Emmy Marriott), Noah’s wild-hearted next-door neighbour. Noah's parents (Marcus Brigstocke and Keeley Hawes) think his compulsion to turn off taps is foolish, but even they can't deny the growing storms that are threatening their little fishing village.

Official Selection - Documentary Short Films
San Guerrero (Argentina) by Jeff Zorrilla

A portrait of an american ex-patriot lilving in Buenos Aires and working as a city tour guide during the day and a prostitution tour guide during the night.

Official Selection - Documentary Short Films
Unsettled Dust (Portugal) by Pedro Sabino Koch

The documentary "Unsettled Dust" presents the exploration and recognition of an alternative ceramic route by way of a dromological journey through abandoned factories of the city of Caldas da Rainha.

Official Selection - Documentary Short Films
No Friends but the Mountains (United Kingdom) by Joosung Kwon

‘No friends but the Mountains’ follows the journey of a Kurdish conservationist fighting to preserve the war torn environment of Iraq, in hopes to preserve the homeland of her childhood memories. Hana Raza, a Kurdish conservationist based in Northern Iraq, struggles to preserve the pristine nature of her homeland from the destructive effects of war and unregulated economic development. Her parents’ generation took up arms to fight the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein in order that the Kurdish people could live in peace and freedom. But now that the Kurds have gained a modicum of independence, the very land that they had fought so hard to gain is in grave danger of self-exploitation and mismanagement.

Official Selection - Animated Short Films
Roller Monster (Belgium) by Manu Gomez

A free adaptation of "the metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka

Official Selection - Animated Short Films
Red Fat Cat (Germany) by Klaus Hoefs

Out of the blue , drowned refugees packed in plastic sacks placed at the public beach touches the life of individuals, which have settled their lives with quirks and oldtimer -anniversaries.

Official Selection - Animated Short Films
Out of your own (Italy) by Valerio Berruti

A child discovers his shadow... The Italian artist Valerio Berruti, painter and sculptor, shows the child's wonder with his poetic linked the world of childhood. Music by Joan As Police Woman.

Official Selection - Underground Films
RINGO ROCKET STAR and his song for Yuri Gagarin (Netherlands) by Rene Nuijens

‘RINGO ROCKET STAR and his song for Yuri Gagarin' is a dry tragic musical comedy (short) film about a gipsy guy who does think he can be famous by writing a song for the first man in the space 'YURI GAGARIN'...

Official Selection - Underground Films
The only one (Poland) by Pani Pawlosky

This is a surrealistic vision of love, desire and broken heart.

Official Selection - Underground Films
Who's Watching Oliver (United States) by Richie

Who's watching Oliver tells the story of a mentally unstable loner lost in a life forced upon him. By night Oliver aimlessly wanders the streets and bars on what can only be described as a truly shocking and humiliating killing spree. His only savior and possible way out of a life he is desperate to escape comes in the form of the beautiful Sophia with her sweet eccentricity and naivety to the danger she has put herself in.

Official Selection - Underground Films
Whiskey and Hamburgers (Brazil) by Caue Angeli

One scenario, two destinations is inevitable and a complicity in two, are two friends who face respect separations. From different perspectives of sex, life and reflections, Robert and Priscilla, try to understand what happened to their lives, unintelligible emptiness and human solitude.

Official Selection - Experimental Films
Maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there (Finland) by Johanna Lecklin

The piece is a portrait of a narcissist. His boss and young colleagues admire him and his ex-wife, mistress and girlfriend tell their view of him. The film consists of monologues, which are performed in the form of tableau vivants that refer to art historical compositions. A possible crime story is built up by the testimonies of the people around the man.

Official Selection - Experimental Films
Dick (Canada) by Cynthia Fenster

Animated short film about Dick Cheney's Penis.

Official Selection - Experimental Films
Mothership (Germany) by Dickon Bevan

With the infusion of light a being undergoes a transformation. Images of nature and the organic are contrasted and enveloped with the manufactured and mechanical. A dreamscape vision is imagined. The digitalised Super 8 format acknowledges it's own reflecting transformation from analogue to the digital format.

Official Selection - Experimental Films
Familiar Memories (Germany) by Pol Merchan

“Familiar Memories” is based on a flea market find of Super 8 archives dated in the 60’s. At first glance, it seems to be apparently a father placed at the center of the image, a man who stages himself in front of the camera as a terrifying, smug tyrant, perpetuating a clear and unidirectional family hierarchy. The reconstruction of a family archive through fragmentary memories is moved to the limit of what we classify as fiction. A voice over tells about the invisible and buried elements of a biography not captured by the camera or not wanted to be seen.

Official Selection - Experimental Films
SIGINT (United States) by Phil Hastings
Signal Intelligence - the act of collecting/intercepting information. SIGINT takes an interstellar journey using the microscopic image as proxy for other worlds. What information is out there that can be collected from beyond our world?

Official Selection - Portuguese Cinema Now
A Blue Refuge by João Lourenço

Nídia goes through a depression due to her husband's lack of love, her best friend's estrangement and her mother's misunderstanding. The solitude that surrounds her leads to finding shelter in alcohol and anxiolytics. At some point, she begins to see a child that seems to be the only thing that comforts her.

Official Selection - Portuguese Cinema Now
From midnight till dawn by Vanessa Duarte

An insight on sensorial experiences, collective memory and sense of identity of the wool workers from Covilhã, establishing a link with the abandoned and degraded factories that have once been a symbol of prosperity.

Official Selection - Portuguese Cinema Now
F L O C K by Luis Ales

Where a sheep goes, the flok follows.

Official Selection - Portuguese Cinema Now
The Table by Nuno Braumann
During one of the breaks of Noroeste (directed by Ricardo Fangueiro), the actor Isaac Penha gave us a wonderful performance!

Official Selection - Portuguese Cinema Now
Fane by Vasco Esteves

At an abandoned chapel a teenager gives herself to a boy, unsuspecting of what's lurking in the shadows.

Official Selection - Portuguese Cinema Now
Cruzeiro Seixas – The letters of king Artur by Claudia Rita Oliveira

Cruzeiro Seixas exists in a labyrinth where all paths lead to Mário Cesariny. Subued by this obsessive relationship, Cruzeiro Seixas did not live, but left records of no living: 95 years of painting and poetry awaiting a bigger recognition, side by side with the other surrealist artists.

Check our Facebook Page to discover previous editions.



Get in Touch