The weeks went by and the films emerged through formal and informal networks and the content was created to produce the best festival ever, something that would make us proud to be part of this initiative.
Of particular note were two great partnerships with the South African Embassy, Portugal through Caroline Ungersbock and another through the incredible team at Conteúdos Brasil in the person of Suzi Camargo, Sergio Costa, and the rest of the team, who traveled to Portugal this year to create a network between the sister countries and to produce in December 2024 the first Tourism Film Festival in Brasil. Once they had joined forces, they immediately found the support to boost the work they wanted to disseminate to the region’s schools and the community in general, and Medioeste was a key partner in the Festival’s communication from the outset.
The transversal values of this team, together with the local community stimulated by the challenge, began to cook up a program that, based on audiovisual production, could enhance the arts and culture through audiovisuals… and that’s how, with the support of the Centro Cultural e Congressos das Caldas da Rainha, the conditions were established for four days of intense programming that was met with enormous enthusiasm from the entire cultural center team, represented by its director Mário Branquinho and the technical team coordinated by José Ramalho.
Magic was made on 25 October with the participation of the community’s philharmonic bands mediated by the Cultural Centre, the result of which was a full house and a resounding success in which dozens of young people played iconic film songs to a packed house. But nothing can be done without liaising with the real locals, which is where everything happens, and that’s when informal spaces emerged where the exhibition by artist Mona Erfanian could be presented to the community with the lightness that this Iranian artist deserves, after so many months of hard work and after a six-week artistic residency in the city.
ART&TUR and its entire team immediately said yes to this project and its integration into the program was very natural. The exhibition “Stories of the City” produced by Mona was joined by the University of Tehran and some artist friends and together, from the other side of the world map, they produced: a 26-minute documentary, a book, a website and 27 drawings by the artist.
The reception to the project was very interesting, and several friends immediately joined the route that was created to show the city through the eyes of another horizon.
In order and not wanting to forget anyone: José Malhoa Museum, Cais do Parque Restaurant, Bom Gosto Shop, Collective Restaurant, Casa Antero, Bites e Bitates, and finally the coworker Prontos. The exhibition could be seen by many people from the community who, from the very first moment, attended the guided tour of the city that took place on 14 October … But don’t worry, it’s only just begun, because a few days earlier, in an informal setting and because the film “‘Güegui, latidos del pueblo Gunadule” was submitted by producer César Romero from Colombia’s Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica and because on this side of the Atlantic, we have the privilege of meeting Cebaldo Inawinapi, member of the people of Kuna and anthropologue, it was possible, with his support and also the Panamanian Embassy in Lisbon and that of contemporary art collector José Lima, to bring together 40 pieces of textiles from the Kuna people and exhibit an incredible collection that was able to be installed in the room called “Sala Farinha ” of the SILOS Contentor Criativo.
Since October 10th. Daniela Pais and David Luxembourg from Ellementum Store helped with an incredible turnout of 39 students from the University of Beira Interior (UBI) who traveled to SILOS Contentor Criativo to learn how to make these original and indigenous textiles called MOLAS. Then something incredible happened because our President of the Jury, Aldo Di Russo, met a young audiovisual production student at a conference in Rome and proposed the challenge of them coming to Portugal to compete for ART&FACTORY, so we had the opportunity to have two teams competing: one from Brazil and one from Italy.
ART&FACTORY is a competition created by Francisco Dias, Director and Founder of the Festival, which invites audiovisual teams to come to the territories where ART&TUR takes place to produce tourism audiovisuals in extreme conditions of scarcity of resources, as It has been running since the 2018 edition in Leiria. Having prepared for the start of the “duel”, the teams did their best on a first day full of difficulties due to a huge rainstorm that hit the city… Rain and more rain forced the teams to stay at the hotel, but time went on and every hour that ticked by was a form of pressure for those here to produce the best audiovisual ever about Caldas da Rainha!!!
And how to solve it? The incredible camaraderie and sharing of knowledge between the teams was a reflection of the ART&TUR spirit, in which the older ones teach the younger ones, and there is always an enormous desire to help others and share equipment and resources. The result was two excellent audiovisual productions about the Caldas da Rainha area, realized in six days in weather conditions that were not very conducive to audiovisual production.
And then came 24 October, the Festival’s kick-off day, with the participation of countless schools, people from the region from countless professional sectors, from tourism to culture, audiovisual, and academia, and the work that ended on 27 October with the big cockfighting gala at the CCC with the participation of all the audiovisual producers who were here to meet, learn, have fun and create bonds of friendship during four long days of themed film screenings, talks and debates, cultural programs and tours around the city. People came from all over the world: Australia, South Africa, Canada, Colombia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Panama, Peru, and Uganda, among many other countries in Europe and beyond… It was four days of great intensity and hard work. A special thank you to all the jury members present at this ART&TUR, the Magestil School, Gonçalo Fonseca, Nicola Henriques, Luis Favas, Célia Antunes, Daniela Pais, and Deisi Corrêa, without whom this festival would not have been the same.
Thanks so much to all the partners of this edition CIFFT, TAP, RTP, Republica Portuguesa, Conteudos Brazil, Revista Viajeros, MediOeste, EHTO – Turismo de Portugal, Ellementum Store, Museu Malhoa, Museu da Cerâmica, Museu do Hospital e das Caldas, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Escola Magestil, SILOS Contentor Criativo, Caldas Late Night,
Caldas da Rainha – Thermal and Creative City of UNESCO located 45 minutes North of Lisbon in Portugal.
ARPT do Centro de Portugal (Regional Association of Promotion of Tourism in the Center of Portugal Region) President Pedro Machado.
ER, Turismo do Centro de Portugal (Regional entity for touristic promotion of Centro de Portugal) – President Raul Almeida.
CPFC, Centro de Portugal Film Commission, President Adriana Rodrigues.
ART&TUR (International Tourism Film Festival). It had its 16th Edition this 2023 in Caldas da Rainha from October 24th till October 27th, with more than 2500 participants, round tables, cinema sessions, cultural programs, and huge networking moments for all the audiovisual participants. ART&TUR was started in 2008 by the hand of Professor Francisco Dias, a researcher and entrepreneur who leads a list of initiatives about tourism, in the Polytechnic School of Leiria. He has achieved huge recognition for the quality and innovation of his projects.