2022 60 '

This Masterclass makes a foray into ethnographic film and documentary, opening perspectives for its realization and discussing practical and theoretical themes: cinematic styles, language and ethics. From the viewing and analysis of film excerpts I will talk about my way as a director. First, the confrontation with the terrain and the way I thought about the projects in the first films I made: Return to Earth (1992) and Senhora Aparecida (1994). The idea is to get a little into the discussions about language options, ethics and technique. It is also important to mention the work of research and documentation, the need to leave the world that is known. I will also talk about the shooting, between improvisation and staging, especially in the work of performing visual ethnography in museological and anthropological research projects with discussion of excerpts from A Seda é um Mistério (2001) and Casas para o Povo (2010). It will also be addressed the construction of dramaturgy and local narratives, ambiguity and conflict especially in the film O Arquitecto e a Cidade Velha (2004). Finally, poetics and authorship, launching a debate about the idea of an intimacy that can only be achieved with a certain ethnographic imagination...


Catarina Alves Costa is a director and anthropologist. Among other films, she directed Margot (2022), Viagem aos Makonde (2020) Pedra e Cal (2016) Falamos de António Campos (2010) Nacional 206 (2009) O Arquiteto e a Cidade Velha (2004) Mais Alma (2000), Swagatam (1998) Senhora Aparecida (1994) and recently co-directed Um Ramadão em Lisboa (2019). Graduated in Social Anthropology, she received a Master’s degree from the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester, as a fellow of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and a PhD from Nova University of Lisbon with the thesis Camponeses do Cinema. Representations of Popular Culture in Cinema Portuguese. In 2000 she founded with Catarina Mourão the producer Laranja Azul where she produced films by Daniel Blaufuks, Sílvia Firmino and João Ribeiro, among others. She is an Assistant Professor at Nova University of Lisbon and Coordinator of the Master’s degree in Anthropology – Visual Cultures and the Audiovisual Laboratory, FCSH Pole of the Center in Network in Anthropology / CRIA. She organized for the Portuguese Cinematheque in Lisbon / Cinema Museum the Ethnographic Archives of Margot Dias filmed in Mozambique and Angola between 1958 and 1961. She also teaches at the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, and at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Barcelona. She received among others the Best Documentary Award of the Recife Ethnographic Film Festival (2019), the Critics Award from Caminhos do Cinema Português (2009), the Planéte Award at the Bilan du Film Ethnographique (1999), the Society for Visual Anthropology American Anthropological Association Film Festival Excellence Award, USA and the 1st Prize of the FESTIVAL VII Rassegna Internazionale di Documentari Etnografici (1996).