The 17th edition of New Directors New Films Festival, which brought to Espinho in the district of Aveiro more than 200 films by directors up to the age of 35 or who have directed their first or second work in 2020, thus awarded the Golden Lince to two feature- footage.

The fiction film prize went to Romanian director Teodora Mihai, for the 140 minutes film “A civil”, and winning documentary was by Polish Michael Edelman, for the 67 minutes of “Last Knights of the right side”, which resulted from six months of monitoring the activities of an ultranationalist brigade from the city of Łódź.

Filipe Pereira, director of the festival, says that these are the best examples of the “extraordinary program” that was managed “in a short space of time” and in an almost identical way to those of 2019 , with “more than 300 professionals” attending the events in person.

“If someone said in early July that the festival was going to run this way, no one would believe it, but it had an amazing result. There is always a mental conflict – because, despite being very happy with the festival, we know that it is still not the same as the pre-pandemic period – but this edition was as close to the previous format as was possible at the present time”.

In the short film category, four Silver Lynxes were awarded: the fiction one to “Zonder Meer”, by the Belgian director Meltse Van Coillie; the documentary to “Mundo”, by Chilean Ana Edwards; the animated film “Easter Eggs”, by the Belgian Nicolas Keppens; and the experimental one, “Copacabana Madureira”, by Brazilian Leonardo Martinelli.

MIRAFLORES by Rodrigo Braz Teixeira (2021) – Trailer

As for the Portuguese competition, the National Grand Prix distinguished “Miraflores”, the 19-minute film in which Rodrigo Braz Teixeira follows a group of friends through an unusual church, an abandoned swimming pool and a roundabout with a fallen tree.

As for the Audience Award, the most voted films by spectators at the various competitive sessions of FEST were the feature film “Enforcement”, by Danish directors Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid, and the documentary short “Haeberli”, by German Moritz Mueller- Preisser.

The first of these works addresses the theme of police brutality in the European context of growing ethnic diversity and, according to Filipe Pereira, is “potentially the most action-packed film ever selected in the history of the festival”.

The short film “Haeberli”, in turn, tells the true story of an octogenarian hoarder who lives in the luxury resort of Saint Moritz, without the community being able to understand exactly if he is a genius, a madman, a resistant intellectual or a disillusioned millionaire.

The 17th edition of FEST also included the NEXXT section, which, dedicated to works by university film students, awarded “Washing Machine”, by Austrian Dominik Hartl.

There were also three FESTinha distinctions for children's works: one for “The Plastic Turtle”, by Miguel León and Claudia Osej, in the category of directors under 10 years of age; another for “Totem”, by Katrine Glenhammer, in the Under-12 section; and a third for “Dolapo is fine”, by Ethosheia Hylton, in the Under-16 competition.