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Small Film Festival, right next to the sea

Sea waves sound, Moonlight, small candle lights accompanying the amphitheater, a screen, and an audience ready to immerse in cinema.

With our Outdoor screenings coming to an end and with our festival almost around the corner, we thought it would be interesting to mention another festival that comprises both.

From another part of the World, Santa Curtas is a small short-film festival happening at Santa Cruz, Madeira Island, Portugal

Every Friday night people from different places on the island join to participate in this outdoor festival, right in front of the sea, in a local town.

There are different aspects that can attract one to this festival. Its location is definitely one of them. Even though it is a small place, it is perfect for its audience. Happening right next to the sea, once one comes in, one feels immediately astonished by the view of the sea and the sound of the waves. The moonlight is normally there shedding a light on people, and offering us an experience that would be hard to get somewhere else. During this year's edition in specific, the audience was lucky to watch different short films while witnessing a moon eclipse happening in the background. We all saw this orange gigantic circle, forming from behind the sea and flying right above us. There was no better way to start a short-film session, than this one, emerging right into this magical environment. We had nature, we had an audience and we had a cinema.

Every session starts with a performance number (music or dance), while the darkness of the night settles in, which adds to this fairy-tallish environment mentioned before. Even though the main focus is cinema, it is like a celebration of all arts. It is almost like a ritual of easing into the films programmed. One comes in, grabs a drink, talks with their friends while the stage is being arranged, and once the performance starts, we are all ready to dive into this artistic journey.

Regarding the films shown, the audiences get to know them some days before the screenings. The programme changes throughout the years, although it always tries to bring Portuguese less-known cinema to the audiences. With this year's edition maintaining the tradition, it also added another side to it. This year was known for bringing also international cinema from different periods of cinema, giving the audiences access to films that they would hardly have otherwise. It allowed the public to travel through a journey between different times and genres in cinema, going from classics like La Jetée by Chris Marker to O Homem do Lixo by Laura Gonçalves and in between Werner Herzog's eats his shoe by Les Blank, and Wolves from Above by Demelza Kooij... Even though I missed having some more Independent Portuguese short films, showcasing the hidden Portuguese talents, this approach was also appreciated and well-received.

All in all, this is a film festival not to miss if you are on the island during August. It will not only show you a bit of Portuguese cinema and more but also allow you to explore an outdoor screenings experience, like never before.

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