Introduction

In a year marked by the complete stop, although temporary, of all presential cultural activities, it is especially gratifying to write this text, a symbolic representation that culture, in general, and cinematographic cultural activity, in particular, continue to play their role, overcoming one unprecedented complex adversity.

AVANCA's commitment to innovation has been a constant that has already been applauded and that, in this 24th edition, it is even more important to highlight. In view of the imposed difficulties, the Festival managed to guarantee its continuity, reinventing itself and adapting its format, which leaves the exclusivity of movie theaters to include, in its complement, the drive-in, allowing to take the selected films to a greater number of people.

Likewise, the inclusion in this year's edition of a new competitive section - AVANCA Pitch Sessions - supported by the AVANCA Film Fund and aimed at screenwriters with projects in the early stages of developing ideas, reinforces the Festival's ability to follow and respond to challenges imposed on the sector and film professionals who find here another opportunity to develop their work.

Finally, to praise the resilience of AVANCA's organizers and partners, who have shown that they are able to withstand the great amount of uncertainties brought by the context in which we live today, working for the Festival - and the cinema - to continue and prosper.

For all these reasons, it is with great satisfaction that I greet this 24th edition of AVANCA - International Meeting of Cinema, Television, Video and Multimedia, hoping that it will, as always, be another great celebration of cinema and culture.

Luís Chaby Vaz,
President of the Executive Committee of ICA
AVANCA 2020 | Message from the Mayor of Estarreja

In Estarreja, July is the month to receive filmmakers, actors, producers, fans or mere interested people from all over the world, and celebrate the seventh art at the “Avanca Film Festival”, the Film Festival that has been asserting itself on the national and international for 23 years.

In 2020, the 24th Edition of “Avanca” will necessarily be different due to the reality brought about by the new Coronavirus that, since the beginning of March, has led us to live “another film”, on a global scale and based on a true story.

This new reality we live in, which imposes several restrictions on us, was a challenge for Cine Clube de Avanca, which was able to reinvent itself and adapt to the new times.

This year we will not hear several languages spoken in the small village of Avanca, but the films submitted, from 128 countries, are still in their thousands, for the appreciation of the demanding panel of juries. Over the course of 5 days, activities continue to be many: workshops, exhibitions, showing films in various rooms, exhibitions, international conferences, but always in strict compliance with the guidelines of health authorities, ensuring the safety and well-being of all. The online presence will be constant and intensified, and the exhibition of films in drive-in is the big news, in an experience that has already been anticipated in Avanca and Estarreja.

Avanca 2020 will be different, it is true. But it will not fail to mark and celebrate the seventh art in Estarreja and in the four corners of the world!

Despite all restrictions, the “Avanca Film Festival” will continue to stir cinematographic production and creativity, which the Municipality of Estarreja, with the Cine-Clube de Avanca continues to encourage, helping to promote Cinema in Portugal, with the “Avanca Film Fund”.

In drive-in, in person or online, we will all live this cinema party intensely.
Come with me!
Lights, Camera ... Action!!! ...
… And long live the “Avanca Film Festival”!

Diamantino Sabina,
Mayor of Estarreja
AVANCA in the Time of Pandemic

It happened we don't know exactly how.

News with numbers of a virus taking control of our lives has been motivating the most frantic reactions against attitudes, rights, events and critical thinking.
The resistance, however, is being organized and getting a say. After months of confinement, incarcerated energies sometimes explode, putting numbers and people at risk and turning against each other.

We are still in the time of danger, of urgency, and of acting. But in order to get out of this stagnation with dignity and some grandeur, what really matters is to enter the time of thought, analysis and tolerance. In that time when human feeling shows solidarity and assesses the real dangers it runs. In that time when we have time to devote time ... to time. In that time when we look at the Other, as if it were us.

In the midst of the urgency that still occupies us, it happened we don't know how.

The certainty that Art and Culture will always be strong vectors of resistance naturally led us to continue on the path. Fear was and is present, but we do not let it win, as we know that through the eyes of the 7th Art the World can open up again. In the image, in the sound and in the imaginary, one finds the power of thought, the beauty of cultures, the sensitivity of beings. This is an instrument that we do not give up, a means of reaching out to others and the expression of our essence.

We organized this event with a renewed awareness of our role, but also with new and essential requirements. It was necessary to reinvent, reformulate, adapt, as so many others have done in recent months. Once arrived at this new starting point, we discovered the power of resilience and reinforced Cinema's commitment, for and with everyone. Safely, for sure. And with the confidence that many clearly placed in us, so that the AVANCA could happen ... this year too, this year perhaps more than ever!

Viva o Cinema e viva a Cultura!

AVANCA 2020 Organizing Committee