ZINEBI – International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao, organised by Bilbao Town Hall, will be rounding off its 65th event tomorrow at 19:30 h in the Arriaga Theatre. The event will award the prizes decided by the jury panels for best short films, feature films and other projects. Portuguese director Rita Azevedo Gomes will be collecting the Honorary Mikeldi award in recognition of her filmmaking career in which “the classical and the modern converge, and what is real amalgamates with fiction, reshaping their ties and breaking conventions”, as noted by the programmer at large for Film at Lincoln Center Cecilia Barrionuevo, to whom the ZINEBI prizewinner will be talking during a public event in Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum at 18:30 h. This event will be preceded by a screening of the Portuguese director’s first feature film, O Som da Terra a Tremer (1990).

Rita Azevedo Gomes met communication media this morning at the Arriaga Theatre, along with Bilbao Town Hall Culture and Governance Councillor Gonzalo Olabarria and the director of ZINEBI Vanesa Fernández Guerra.

Azevedo Gomes’ filmography is an example of the potential for reconciliation of experimentation, documentary and narrative language. In a career spanning four decades. she has adapted – always freely – Stefan Zweig (in A Colecção Invisível, 2009) and Jules Barbey D’Aurevilly (A Vingança de uma Mulher, 2012), and she even took up the gauntlet of the text of a play by Éric Rohmer (O Trio em Mi Bemol, 2022) to build a film corpus firmly anchored in the fructiferous, harmonious relationship between the written word and images. Even in her first project (O Som da Terra a Tremer, 1990), based on texts by André Gide,
Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Agustina Bessa-Luís (with whom Azevedo Gomes also worked on the short “A conquista de Faro”, 2005) and even Leonardo da Vinci, one perceives the joyful co-existence of the spoken word and a rigorous non-conformist mise en scène, doubtless influenced by her previous experiences in theatre scenes (she helped edit Chekhov’s The Seagull, Antigone by Sophocles, and Bérénice by Racine) and also opera (The Fairy Queen by Purcell, Platée by Rameau, Mozart’s Idomeneo and Verdi´s La Traviata).

Her work has been presented and acclaimed at festivals all over the world such as Berlin, Mar del Plata, Doclisboa, Locarno, Las Palmas and IndieLisboa.