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At a time when our movements have been limited within four walls, can we feel free? Confined in time and space, our routines change. Through the windows of our homes, televisions, computers and mobile phones we look at each other, at the outside, at the world, and we reflect; what is it that being free really means?

Inspired by the current context, and by the fact that we are spending the Portuguese Freedom day under a certain confinement, we wanted to find out perspectives on freedom that defy the dominant narratives. So, we challenged filmmakers to create shorts that reflected what freedom means to them today. 

At a time when stories move us forward, these are reflections of the essential.

What does it mean to be free?

My house has a steel barred door and they asked me to do a film about freedom.

— in Nothing but the Mountains of the Past, by João Diogo Marques

What does it mean to be free?


Director Vasco Mendes [PT] graduated in Cinema at the University of Beira Interior. From his very first short film he’s been crossing music, rhythm, architecture and cinema. In addition to making music videos for emerging Portuguese bands, Vasco has been making documentaries, where the main themes are music, the city and the people.

Your Spaceship, Vasco Mendes

On April 17, 2020, 3 astronauts return to Earth after months on a mission in Space. They return to a different world than the one they were used to when they left. Where they would expect freedom, they find a closed and isolated environment, in silence, similar to what they are used to in Space. The city that never sleeps is asleep now, and the invisible borders turned into walls around us.


Felipe Rios Fuentes [CL] studied at the Escuela de Cine in Chile and almost immediately started directing shorts and working on visual arts. In 2018, he premiered his documentary series ”Gabinete” about Chilean contemporary art. In 2019 he launched his first full-length fiction movie “El Hombre del Futuro” at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and also, he premiered the video “The Emancipating Opera” along with the artist Voluspa Jarpa at the Venice Biennale.

What does it mean to be free?

Tema Libre, Felipe Rios Fuentes

Santiago de Chile at the center of a pandemic. A couple spends 35 days locked up at home with too much time to think. There are times when the free subject is a problem and the limitations become a space of freedom.

What does it mean to be free?


Daniel Brereton [UK] is a filmmaker based in the north west of England, and up to now he has directed over 100 music videos for bands such as Bastille, Metronomy, Connan Mockasin and Django Django. Recently, Daniel has gravitated towards storytelling through both narrative and documentary, with the aim of focusing on stories from the north of England, and the people that shape this land. We met Daniel in 2015 and highlighted his work in a Director ID episode.

I Can't Help, Daniel Brereton

During the pandemic that is taking place as I write, and the circumstances of being in lock down, making a film about freedom seems like a brilliant thing to do. And through making this film I have found that freedom is found in a place that I didn't expect it to be. I thought that freedom was found on the hills and in the valleys of the national park near where I live, but when I really looked at myself and my thoughts on the subject, I realised that, for me, freedom comes from within.


João Diogo Marques [PT] first went to the movies when he was three, the film was Jumping Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg, and he fell asleep. Since then his passion for filmmaking made him watch every single VHS at the local video store. He started making films within the Porto music scene, shooting concerts and performance videos for bands. João developed a DIY approach to filmmaking while working with Canal180, doing short documentaries and commercials, directing and editing.

What does it mean to be free?

Nothing but the Mountains of the Past, João Diogo Marques

A personal look on the possibility of freedom in quarantine through recording experiences of the past.

What does it mean to be free?


Born in Paris, Vincent Moon [FR] (real name Mathieu Saura) is an independent filmmaker. For the past ten years, Vincent Moon has been traveling around the globe with a camera in his backpack, documenting local folklores, sacred music and religious rituals, for his label Collection Petites Planètes. We met Vincent in 2014 and highlighted his work in an episode of 180ID and interviewed him for Thoughts on the Next Decade


Priscilla Telmon [FR] is a filmmaker, photographer and writer, member of the Society of French Explorers, since 1999, she dedicated herself to long trips combining history and adventure, paying homage to the wisdom tradition and mystery of the cultures she visited. Her passion led her to direct films and documentaries, to write books and articles and to collaborate with TV Channels, radios and museums.

UN PAYS LOINTAIN, Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon

A journey from the outside to the inside, from the movement to the stillness, from the noise to the silence. A call for us to be more. What if confinement is teaching us the true meaning of freedom?


Sophy Romvari [CA] is based in Toronto. Her filmmaking is mostly autoethnographic with a focus on processing trauma, either personally or collectively. Her documentary “Pumpkin Movie”, praised by critics as "a lovely, subtle work of feminist protest” was premiered at True/False festival in St. Louis in 2018. In that same year her short “Norman Norman”, received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was the centerpiece of “Super Succinct and Radically Direct,” a retrospective of Sophy’s work at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City, and was selected as the best short film of the year by critic, Justine Smith. Sophy recently completed her Masters at York University during which she shot her most recent short film, “Still Processing”.

What does it mean to be free?
What does it mean to be free?


Mike Thorn [CA] is the author of Darkest Hours and Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Dark Moon Digest, The NoSleep Podcast,  and Tales to Terrify. His film criticism has been published in MUBI Notebook, The Film Stage, and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness."

Some Kind of Connection, Sophy Romvari

Just beginning their relationship, filmmaker Sophy Romvari and writer Mike Thorn find themselves in lockdown during a global pandemic. This film is a documentation of their time spent together in Calgary, Alberta.

What does it mean to be free?


Nisha [TH] is a cinematographer based in Bangkok. After her graduation from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Nisha went to film school in Prague, FAMU, to study cinematography. With a very poetic visual style, she’s been shooting since 2011, mostly commercials, TV series, music videos, among others.

a day in Bangkok, Nisha Jurairattanaporn

When you asked me to do a piece about freedom most of the people around the world are being asked to stay home. Me too. I made this video from a police CCTV camera. I picked RAMA4 road location, the best spot in BKK, and started to record from day to night, to make it like we're sitting in a room with a nice window. 

In a time like this, freedom may not be defined as a physical state, but a state of mind.


Since her childhood, Diana [PT] has been passionate about art, body movement and the physical space concept. She began to dance when she was just a child and her passion for film was revealed during that time. After graduating in Cinema, Diana moved to London where she worked as a filmmaker. She now lives in Lisbon where she works as a film director in advertising, music videos and documentary. Her first feature-length documentary about the resilience of Palestinian refugees trying to resist the Israeli Occupation through different non-violent paths will be released in 2020.

What does it mean to be free?

Desabitar, Diana Antunes

Memories take us to places. They open the door to places we can't return anymore.

Desabitar invites us to travel through our memories and through the way they affect us.

Is it possible to be truly free when part of ourselves still lives in the Past?

What does it mean to be free?


Miguel C. Tavares describes himself as "an isolated filmmaker". He went to Hong Kong in 2017 to make the short films "In Between", but it is at a national level that his work stands out through projects such as "Specific Atmosphere", "Cloud Tryptic", "Trilho", "A Construção da Villa Além", "Become Ocean" and "Afastado de Quem Fala", these last two filmed in the Azores. It is also on a trip to this archipelago, in 2019, that with the musician/composer José Alberto Gomes, Miguel spends 10 days aboard the cargo ship "Corvo". This project culminated with a live presentation at the Walk&Talk festival with the piece "East Atlantic".


Musician, sound artist, Professor and curator from Porto, José Alberto Gomes is strongly linked with technologies and the role of music in theatre, cinema, installations, electronics and improvisation, having a special interest in seeking new forms and new musical "places". José currently teaches at the Universidade Aberta and at the Escola de Artes - UCP. Among his numerous works and partnerships, projects with Casa da Música, Braga Media Arts - UNESCO creative city, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Serralves Foundation can be highlighted.

What does it mean to be free?

2020 CHIMAERA, Miguel Tavares and José Alberto Gomes

The word ‘chimaera’ came to signify not just a hybrid animal but anything that seemed to be impossible or a figment of our imagination.

In the first months of 2020 more than 3.9 billion people, or half of the world's population, were asked or ordered to stay at home by their governments to contain the spread of the covid-19 virus. This ‘chimaera’ of speech, narratives, faces, expressions and realities is the result of the illusion of contacting a common interlocutor, apparently real and original, that lives permanently in a common interface, a distant and artificial reality.

What does it mean to be free?


Diogo Cão [PT/BR] is a collective formed by a motion designer, a documentarist and a cinephile. The project arose during their confinement in 2020. The collective finds relief in arts, in walking around and in nature, maintaining these habits until the end of the quarantine.

O Horizonte, Diogo Cão

Uma ida ao zoológico.

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