Carlos Conceição premieres “Serpentarius” at the Berlinale Forum

18 January 2019

The film "Serpentarius", first feature film by Carlos Conceição, will have its world premiere in the Forum section of the Berlinale that will take place from February 7th to 17th.

The film "Serpentarius", first feature film by Carlos Conceição, will have its world premiere in the Forum section of the Berlinale that will take place from February 7 to 17 in the German capital. This is also the first film signed by the newly formed production company Mirabilis, owned by António Gonçalves and Carlos Conceição.

"Serpentarius" is a Portuguese-Angolean coproduction that follows a young man who drifts through a post-disaster African landscape in search of his mother's ghost, and is led by the actor João Arrais with the participation of Isabel Abreu (voice). It is an emotional and very personal film about memory, a sensory journey of rediscovery that transmutes between the director's autobiography in Africa - where he was born and lived to his 21st birthday - and episodes of Africa's own history. Regarding the film, Carlos Conceição reveals: "When I went back to shoot Serpentarius, memories had become movies in my head. The war had been a rite of passage between the cut connection with History and the reinvention of it’s textures and colours. The past became an adventure, a western, a disaster movie as I watched my younger self try to come to terms with a land that betrayed back."

Carlos Conceição (August 5, 1979, Angola) is not a newcomer to renowned film festivals: in 2014, the director presented his fourth short film "Goodnight Cinderella" in Cannes Film Critics Week, and "Versailles" was screened at the Locarno competition in 2013. Fabien Gaffez, former programmer of Cannes Critics Week, referred to him as "one of the most interesting young Portuguese filmmakers, exploring his films in an elegant, romantic, baroque and subversive style ". In 2017, Carlos Conceição returned to Cannes to present the short film "Bad Bunny", a Portuguese-French co-production.

The debut of "Serpentarius" confirms once again the talent of the young director placing him again on the route of the most important and influential film festivals.

The Forum section of the Berlinale stands for reflections on the medium of film, socio-artistic discourse and a particular sense for the aesthetic. Its programming aims to expand the understanding of what film is, to test the boundaries of convention and open up fresh perspectives to help grasp cinema and how it relates to the world in new ways. 

Alto Patrocínio

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