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THE FLAME OF A CANDLE

Feature-length by André Gil Mata

IN POST-PRODUCTION

À LA LUEUR DE LA CHANDELLE de André Gil Mata

16 mm | 109 min | 2024 | Portugal / France

Original title : SOB A CHAMA DA CANDEIA

North of Portugal. A green tiled house, a garden, a magnolia tree. In this house, Alzira was born, lived and died. There she was a daughter, mother and grandmother. She learned the piano, played as a child, devoted herself to her husband. There she stayed with Beatriz, the maid who arrived to the house at the age of 13, and lived with Alzira until they were unable to live together anymore. As she reaches the evening of her life, Alzira finally makes a decision that belongs to her alone.

Credits

With Marcia Breia, Eva Ras

Written and directed by André Gil Mata

In co-production with Rua Escura (Portugal)

Director of Photography : Frederico Lobo

Sound Engineer : Thomas Van Pottelberge

Production Designer : Sandra Neves

Editing : Claire Atherton

Sound Post-production : Rafael Cardoso and Eric Lesachet

Color Grading : Andreia Bertini

With the support of ICA (Portugal), CNC (Support for Franco-Portuguese co-production and Cinémas du monde support), and Eurimages.

Release France : ED Distribution

Workshops and festivals

Director's note

I have always been very attached to my grandmother Alzira. Trying to find what was possibly her life became a very clear goal for me. This is my main intention with this movie : to turn an affection, the desire to meet this person, into a film that concerns everyone, at least those who feel or have felt the same about someone.

The film travel through non-linearly segments of my grandmother's life. The starting point is the "present time", in which Alzira and Beatriz live together without standing each other anymore, because of the weariness of life and relationships. And I explore the memories and recollections of their life which they transmitted to me.

Fiction exists, even in our memories, in the interpretation we make of what is told to us, through the way we see and experience the world. The time of the film is one day, from dawn to dawn. It is divided by the seasons of the year, that will correspond to each one of the four periods of the day: dawn, morning, afternoon, and evening.

Production's note

André’s writing is a choreography of shots. His aim is to show how the space and the objects reflect the past of those who lived in this house. The emotions, hate and love, are transfigured and come to life through objects. The walls, the table, the vacuum cleaner start communicating as if they had absorbed life out of the bodies who came close to them. 

Like other Portuguese directors today, André works on 16mm. For him, it’s the best instrument to show attention to the things he shots. It implies a state of concentration during the shooting that can be felt in each sequence, once the film is finished. He wants to achieve the same tension he feels by watching the films of Chantal Akerman and Victor Erice. His previous films show brilliantly the reward he obtains from working that way.

This aesthetics are in line with our commitment as producer. We stand for films made for movie theaters and big screens, films which foster a full experience of time and which include the viewer’s contribution through his own imaginary.

André Gil Mata

THE DAMNED YARD

Fiction, 16 mm, 44 min, 2022, Portugal

IFF Rotterdam, 2023

 

THE TREE

Fiction, 16mm, 105 min, 2017, Portugal/Bosnia

Berlinale/Forum, 2018

Best movie at IFF Lima, 2018

Best director at IndieLisboa, 2018

Best cinematography for João Ribeiro at Caminhos do Cinema Português, 2018 

Release Portugal : 2018/09/27

Release France : 2021/05/19  (ED DISTRIBUTION)

DVD Edition : https://www.eddistribution.com/dvd/larbre-drvo/ 

 

HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH EVA RAS

Doc, 74 min, 2016, Bosnia/Portugal

Special mention from the jury at FIDMarseille, 2016 

 

CAPTIVITY

Doc, B&W, 63 min, 2012, Portugal

Visions du réel, 2013

Doc Alliance award for best movie, 2014

DocLisboa, 2012

Prix CPLP for Best Portuguese-language Feature Film

Release Portugal : 2023/02/11

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