TERESA VIEIRA appointed as new BEAST IFF Artistic Director

BEAST International Film Festival returns to Porto this September and is thrilled to announce the appointment of Teresa Vieira as its new Artistic Director. With her extensive background as a film critic, journalist, and DJ, Vieira brings a vibrant energy and a deep appreciation for Eastern European cinema to the festival.

As an annual celebration of the best cinema from Central & Eastern Europe, held in Porto, every September, BEAST IFF has established itself as a platform for promoting contemporary culture and fostering artistic exchange. Through its highly curated programme, the festival showcases a diverse range of short films, documentaries, experimental works and animation.

Teresa Vieira’s connection to the festival goes back to its very beginnings, and her unwavering affection for Eastern European cinema has made her an integral part of its success.

“Teresa is joining a team of advocates for diversity and inclusivity in the industry. Our commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices, particularly female directors and queer culture, will play a pivotal role in the continuation of having diverse perspectives within our festival’s offerings.”
— Radu Sticlea, head of festival

I feel like we have – more or less acknowledgedly – a common sense of the imminence of things falling apart (said disaster). Better yet: of how things probably aren’t even at a state of “falling” anymore, as the movement has been happening and has been fuelled and speeded up for years. 

This is a thought that we, as a collective, have in our minds. All of these – or our – feelings and thoughts not only come with us but become subliminally evident in everything we do. 

One of the many things we decided to do in life is to build a space around and most importantly with something we believe is truly meaningful: cinema. Saying this is also stating that we embrace our programming as a gesture of thought, of feeling that connects with our joys and with our sorrows, with our worries and with our hopes, with who we (including the “I”) are.

This year that will be clear: we move forward by working together with other people, other collectives, other festivals in order to present something we feel is urgent. One of the ways that can be seen is in our recurrent queer programme, which this year will have an even more prominent space. 

This sense of collaboration will also arise from another special programme dedicated to showcase works that are changing the modes of production of a field that is very present in most people’s lives and that has conditioned most into a normative capsule of what sex – in all its forms – is and can be. In this programme we will be able to have a glimpse of the first steps of dismantling the paradigms of representation and perception of bodies and the connections to oneself and to others.

Our core team created a programme that maintains most of the roots of our festival. The Focus Country programme will feature some present and past works, from looking into school films to retrospectives of renowned directors and artists. Thinking about features, we maintain our Visegrad Film Hub programme, which will also bring a glimpse of past and present works.

Now going to what is considered the center of any festival: the competition. 

Our selection committee went through  hundreds of works resulting in a selection we believe is strong and growing stronger every year. A hard work that has to be acknowledged as without them or any of the other members of this small team, nothing would’ve been possible.

In the end, all I wanted was to show that we’re working on something together that we’re proud of. And it’ll be the result of hard work, patience, struggles, but also – and maybe mainly – a lot (, a lot!) of joy, dialogue and inspiration. 

We won’t change the world – don’t intend to, we know what’s up – but we hope to create a space to breathe, to connect, to think about how can we all evolve, learn, live together and work on building a better future (fighting disasters with films: now that sounds cool and plausible).
— Teresa Vieira, artistic director

The 6th BEAST Festival of Central & Eastern European Film will take place  between 27 September – 01 October 2023 with events in Batalha Centro de Cinema, Passos Manuel, Cinema Trindade, Casa Comum and OKNA.