Utopia, the 6th UK Portuguese Film Festival will display this year a surprising mixture of great cinema: a homage to Manoel de Oliveira and, as a counterpoint, a spotlight on the work of Portuguese women filmmakers. This is the year of Manoel de Oliveira's departure (Portugal's most internationally renowned and awarded filmmaker), and a small tribute is the least the festival could have put together, in celebration of the great author's immense oeuvre. Notwithstanding, the core theme in the 2015 program is “Women and Film”, with the aim of bringing to international attention recent strong work by female filmmakers such as Margarida Cardoso, Catarina Ruivo and Marta Pessoa. The crucial question we are asking and putting forward is how the work of these talented filmmakers has remained largely unseen and unacknowledged, both internationally and at home. This year's festival will also host two free events at Birkbeck College: a documentary and a major debate and Q&A on the invisibility of women in film and in history.

Érica Faleiro Rodrigues, Festival Director

Second Hand
Icon download programme (272.1 KB)


22 Nov

2 pm


Yvone Kane

Yvone Kane / Mozambique/Brasil/Portugal, 2014
Dir. Margarida Cardoso / 117’

Margarida Cardoso and Beatriz Batarda collaborate again after the award-winning The Murmuring Coast (2004) in a fascinating feature shot on location in Mozambique. Following the death of her child, Rita (Beatriz Batarda) returns to the African country where her mother (played by the Brazilian actress Irene Ravache) still lives, now as a doctor and former political activist trying to fight her colonial ghosts and sickness. As they both search for redemption and try to salvage their relationship, Rita decides to investigate the life of Yvone Kane, an ex-guerrilla fighter and political activist whose death has always remained a mystery. A truly cinematic film and a rare portrayal of the role of women in African politics. Unforgettable.

book tickets from £11 (£8 conc.)


21 Nov

4.30 pm

Birkbeck College

On The Invisibility of Women in Film and History

Roundtable followed by a Q&A

View video on youtube

A must-see debate, where major specialists in film, gender and history debate, together with the director of Warriors Marta Pessoa, the invisibility of women in film and in the histories of colonialism and war. The debate will open up to questions from the audience after the roundtable.

free entrance 


Marta Pessoa, born in Lisbon in 1974, has a degree in Cinema Studies (areas of Cinematography and Directing) by the ESTC – Polythecnic of Lisbon and a Masters in Communication Sciences by the FCSH – New University of Lisbon. She has worked as director of photography on numerous documentaries and fiction films since 1996. Among other films, she directed the shorts Fair Day (2004), Someone will watch over you (2005), Manual of the domestic feeling (2007), Black Mold (2015) and the documentaries Lisbon's under Arrest (2009), Warriors (2011) and The Lurking Fear (2015). In 2013, along with Rita Palma and João Pinto Nogueira she founded the production company Três Vinténs.


Ana Naomi de Sousa is an independent documentary filmmaker born and raised in London. She studied modern languages at Bristol University, and went on to work as a translator, living in Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil and Angola. In 2010 she joined the international TV network Al Jazeera English,  where she worked across a variety of current affairs and documentary programmes. She is the director of the documentaries Angola: Birth of a Movement (2012), Guerrilla Architect (2013), The Architecture of Violence (2014) and Hacking Madrid (2015).


Maria do Carmo Piçarra is a film historian and post-doctoral researcher on the topic of “Portugal, France and England: Empire Representations in Film” at University of Minho, Portugal, and University of Reading, England. Amongst other publications, she is the author of Salazar vai ao cinema (Salazar goes to the movies) and of a trilogy on Angolan cinema. She is a journalist, film critic and film programmer, and the co-editor of Aniki, the journal of the Portuguese Association of film Researchers (AIM).


21 Nov

2.15 pm

Birkbeck College


Quem vai à Guerra / Portugal, 2011
Dir. Marta Pessoa / 130’

Forty years after its abrupt conclusion, Portugal's colonial war is still a sensitive and opaque topic, with narratives built mostly around male protagonism, as if only the men had been veterans of war and only they became its victims. A country at war: could anyone not be affected by it? The unexpected stories this documentary has pieced together, along with the charismatic personalities of its storytellers, trigger in us the desire to know more about the history of the colonial war and about the role of women in it. Warriors is told by those who were left behind to wait, those who surprisingly chose to stay on the war front with their husbands and those who ran onward to rescue the soldiers from the front lines. This film is an unveiling of women's role in colonial history while, at the same time, a rare insight by a woman filmmaker on the topic of war.

free entrance


20 Nov

6.30 pm

Ciné Lumière

Gebo and the Shadow

Gebo et l'ombre / France/Portugal, 2012
Dir. Manoel de Oliveira / 95’

Despite his age and general weariness, Gebo keeps on working as an accountant to provide for his family. He lives with his wife, Doroteia, and his daughter-in-law, Sofia, but it is the absence of João, son and husband, that worries them. Gebo seems to be hiding something, especially to Doroteia, who is anxiously waiting to see her son again. All of a sudden, João arrives and everything changes. With Michael Lonsdale, Claudia Cardinale, Jeanne Moreau. (in French with English subtitles)

book tickets from £11 (£8 conc.)


19 Nov

8.50 pm


Second Hand

Em segunda mão / Portugal, 2012
Dir. Catarina Ruivo / 110’

This is the last we will see of the late Pedro Hestnes in a film, one of the most charismatic Portuguese actors of his generation. Pedro Hestnes was first brought to the spotlight as Vicente in Blood (1989), the first feature of internationally renowned Portuguese director Pedro Costa. In Second Hand, Pedro Hestnes plays an emblematic, if discontented, writer of erotic pulp fiction, who finds himself trapped in a film noir story. The film depicts landscapes and architecture with a truly artistic sensibility in strikingly beautiful shots. The story, a complex thriller, is also enriched by the characters portrayed by João Grosso and Luís Miguel Cintra. This is a unique opportunity to see in London the work of rising filmmaker Catarina Ruivo.

book tickets from £11 (£8 conc.)


17 Nov

8.40 pm

Ciné Lumière

I'm Going Home

Je rentre à la maison/ France/Portugal, 2001
Dir. Manoel de Oliveira / 90’

This tender and touching story centres on Gilbert Valence, a stage actor, whose life is stricken with tragedy when he is informed that his family has been killed in a road accident. He takes great pleasure in comforting and taking care of his surviving grandson who has lost his parents in the accident. With Michel Piccoli, Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich. (in French & English with English subtitles)

book tickets from £11 (£8 conc.)


TAP Portugal is the leading airline to Portugal with over 74 direct weekly scheduled flights to Lisbon and Porto from London Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. A member of the Star Alliance since 2005, with its main hub in Lisbon, TAP currently flies to over 81 destinations across 34 countries.

The Utopia – UK Portuguese Film Festival is funded by Instituto Camões, sponsored by TAP Portugal and kindly supported by the Portuguese Embassy in London, in collaboration with the FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, the Birkbeck College, the ICA and Ciné Lumière.

Yvone Kane


1st edition
Sound in Cinema / Music in Film
26 Jun – 9 Jul 2010

Icon SOUNDCINEMA_PressRelease_English.pdf (390.5 KB)


2nd edition
Cinema and Literature
10 – 30 Nov 2011

Icon 2nd UK Portuguese FF Press Relese English.pdf (730.4 KB)


3rd edition
Architecture and Film
10 – 30 Nov 2012

Icon 3rd UK Portuguese FF Press Relese.pdf (998.4 KB)


4th edition
Film, Memory and Landscape
27 Nov – 8 Dec 2013

Go To 2013


5th edition
5 Films Celebrating Freedom
6 – 7 Dec 2014

Go To 2014
I'm Going Home




Icon download press release (561.1 KB)

view photo stream

Youtube channel


Érica Faleiro Rodrigues

Fernanda Franco

David Pinho Barros

Producer and Co-curator:
Leonor Pinho

Graphic Design:
Maria João Macedo
(after an original design with
Carlos Azeredo Mesquita)

Web Development:
Queo Technologies

Filmville was founded in 2007 with the aim of curating and promoting film events around Portuguese speaking countries' cultures in the UK. Since 2010, Filmville has programmed the annual UK Portuguese Film Festival, working with institutions such as the Barbican Arts Centre, the ICA, the Whitechapel Gallery, the Institut français, the Tricycle Theatre and The Picture House. Filmville is run by Érica Faleiro Rodrigues, with external help from freelancers and key institutions.

Gebo and the Shadow


Ciné Lumière

17 Queensberry Place

T: South Kensington

visit website



The Mall

T: Charing Cross and Piccadilly Circus

visit website


Birkbeck College

Amphitheater B04

School of Arts

43 Gordon Square

T: Russell Square, King's Cross and Euston

visit website

© filmville: All rights reserved