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Between the Lines: Love Letters to Film

15.02.2016 - Sandro Aguilar, Ivo M. Ferreira, Nuno Mello, Miguel Nunes, João Ribeiro, Margarida Vila-Nova, moderated by Ben Gibson

"The space between someone writing a letter and someone reading it eventually gives birth to a sort of intermediate character", describes Portuguese director Ivo M. Ferreira the deeper narrative structure of his movie Cartas da Guerra. Certainly a must-see discovery in this year’s Berlinale Competition, the shimmering black-and-white film is based on the many love letters sent by young military doctor António to his pregnant wife during the Portuguese Colonial War in 1971. The film team (of which main actor Miguel Nunes and editor Sandro Aguilar are Talents alumni) reflects on the genesis of the story from the original letters to book and film. Exploring the eloquent interplay of acting, directing, set design, cinematography and editing, they trace the creation of their very own language for most intimate feelings of pain, despair and tender longing, through which the film emerges as a cinematic love letter itself. (The originally announced session with Jonathan Glazer had to be cancelled.)



Experts of this programme event:

Sandro Aguilar


photo of Sandro Aguilar
Portuguese editor, producer and filmmaker. He was nominated for two European Film Awards and won awards in Venice and Locarno for his short films THE SERPENT, CORPO E MEIO and SEM MOVIMENTO. He has founded his own production company O Som E A Fúria, which has since released many short films and also features by directors like Miguel Gomes and Manoel de Oliveira.


Ivo M. Ferreira


photo of Ivo M. Ferreira
Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1975, he made his first documentary films whilst travelling in Asia (O HOMEM DA BICICLETA – DIÁRIO DE MACAU). He has made a number of films focusing on anthropological documentary in countries including Angola. In 2009 he also started making fiction films such as AGUAS MIL (APRIL SHOWERS) which premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival. He currently lives in Macau.


Nuno Mello


photo of Nuno Mello
Portuguese set decorator and production designer. He has already worked with director Ivo M. Ferreira for his feature APRIL SHOWERS. His latest collaboration with Ferreira is LETTERS FROM WAR, which premieres in this year's Berlinale Competition.


Miguel Nunes


photo of Miguel Nunes
Portuguese actor born in Lisbon in 1988. After extensive TV work and several short films he starred in award-winning features like SWAN by acclaimed Portuguese director Teresa Villaverde or Alberto Seixas Santo's E O TEMPO PASSA. He starred in the short-film REHEARSAL directed by Dinis Costa that premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and took part at Berlinale Talents 2015.


João Ribeiro


photo of João Ribeiro
Portuguese director of photography. He started out in documentary filmmaking, before establishing himself in feature fiction films. Among much other international work he was director of photography for several films of award-winning director João Botelho, including the mini-series OS MAIAS.


Margarida Vila-Nova


photo of Margarida Vila-Nova
Portuguese actress. She became famous for various TV soaps, and went on to star in several feature films by director João Botelho. She is married to director Ivo M. Ferreira, with whom she worked together on the short film NA ESCAMA DO DRAGAO before their latest collaboration LETTERS FROM WAR.



Moderated by

Ben Gibson


photo of Ben Gibson

Ben Gibson is the Director of the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). He was previously Director of Degree Programmes at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London. From 2001 to 2014, he was Director of the London Film School. He is a former independent producer and was Head of Production at the British Film Institute from 1988 to 1998. He has produced films by Terence Davies, Derek Jarman and others. Before that he was a distributor, exhibitor, theatre director, film critic and journalist.