Pedro Cabeleira on „By Flávio“ / interview

Born in Entroncamento, Portugal in 1992. Upon graduating with a degree in directing from the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema in Lisbon, he started shooting his debut feature film, „Damned Summer“, without a budget. After a post-production period lasting three years, the film premiered at Locarno in 2017 and went on to screen at festivals including Mar del Plata, Turin, Tbilisi, Vilnius and Cannes (in the parallel ACID programme). His short film „Filomena“ is part of the itinerant “Lisbon Acts” exhibition and screened at IndieLisboa.

What was your starting point for “By Flávio”?

My starting point for „By Flávio“ was this big desire I had to make a film with Ana Vilaça in a leading role. I was eager to work with her in a strong character. I also wanted to find new ways of portraying the digital world and to film in TorreShoping, the shopping center in Torres Novas – a place I used to go to a lot when I was younger.

Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

My favourite moment in the film is when Márcia is looking at herself in the mirror, in TorreShopping’s bathroom and Flávio is waiting for her outside, on the corridor. Why I feel so particularly connected to that moment isn’t rational. It wasn’t a very important moment, scriptwise (or so I thought when we were writing), but when I started shooting it, I don’t know why, I developed a special affinity to those images. I found that there was some kind of deep truth in the characters during that moment, that is quite difficult to put into words.

What do you like about the short form?

I really like this idea of short films as a kind of short story or tale, where you can get a glimpse of these very small moments in people’s lives. You don’t know too much about them, where they came from or where they’re going, but you have the privilege to witness this very special moment in their lives. Also, I really appreciate that the short form gives us the freedom to take more risks and to defy the boundaries of storytelling and film language.

Photo © Dorothea Tuch


04:4605:55 Excerpt: By Flávio / 16:4623:34 How do you manage the transition from writing the script to acting in the film? / 23:3434:10 Please tell us more about the different acts of performance in all three films / 26:1639:07 Ana and Diogo, what was it like to work together on “By Flávio” since you are also partners in life? / 41:3044:38 Flowers and compliments


in interview with Pedro Cabeleira and Ana Vilaça for Arte

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