João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata
Picture by Kisshomaru Shimamura
The directors João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata live and work in Lisbon.
João Pedro Rodrigues was born in Lisbon. He wanted to be an ornithologist and started studying Biology but gave up to study Cinema at ESTC, where he had as teachers the filmmakers António Reis, Paulo Rocha, Alberto Seixas Santos, Jorge Silva Melo and Vítor Gonçalves.
Rodrigues’ work explores gender and human desire in all its forms and disguises, reflecting the multiplicity of cinema history, from the genres of classic cinema to documentary and experimental cinema.
His international career began with the short film PARABÉNS !, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in 1997. In addition to a considerable number of short films, he wrote and made five feature films: of his own first work, O FANTASMA (2000), premiered in competition also in Venice, and which became a cult film, until his most recent feature, THE ORNITOLOGIST, which earned him the Silver Leopard for Best Director at the International Film Festival Locarno in 2016.
He co-directed several short films and the feature THE LAST TIME I SAW MACAU (2012) with his companion and usual artistic collaborator, João Rui Guerra da Mata, constituting a body of work that they like to call “Asian films”.
His films premiered and won prizes at the most important film festivals in the world, such as Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Toronto and Berlin and are part of the permanent collections of various cinematographies and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Harvard Film Archive, the Austrian Film Museum or the Cinémathèque Suisse.
His complete work was published on DVD in France in 2014: Box Set L’Intégrale João Pedro Rodrigues (Epicenter Films) and the collection of all his short films was published in Portugal in 2016: DVD João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata, The Short Films (FNAC / Curtas Vila do Conde).
Rodrigues received several scholarships, such as: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study from Harvard University, DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Residency, MacDowell Colony or Fundação Oriente.
He was honored with several national and international retrospectives, namely: Harvard Film Archive, BAMcinématek – Brooklyn, TIFF Bell Lightbox – Toronto IndieTokyo / Athénée Français – Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka, Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, Instituto Moreira Salles (curated by Kleber Mendonça Filho) – Rio de Janeiro, highlighting, in 2016, the Integral Retrospective and Exhibition Installation together with Guerra da Mata at the Pompidou Center in Paris, integrated in the Festival d’Automne. Simultaneously, the book João Pedro Rodrigues, Le jardin des fauves, conversations with Antoine Barraud, Post Éditions and Center Pompidou was published.
He was invited to be part of several national and international film juries. He is regularly invited to conferences, masterclasses and tutorials: Artist twice invited – Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains – Tourcoing, France, Master of Cinema at ÉCAL (École cantonale d’art de Lausanne) and HEAD (Haute École d ‘ Art et Design de Genève), University of Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano – Colombia, Torino FeatureLab, BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew Mentoring Program, Master of Cinema at Universidade Lusófona, Cine Cerca – Lisboa / Almada.
In 2016, he founded his own film production company, Filmes Fantasma, based in Lisbon.
João Rui Guerra da Mata was born in Lourenço Marques, Mozambique. He spent his formative years in Macau, China, then a Portuguese colony. Studied and worked in Graphic Design and Typography in Lisbon. He has worked in cinema since 1995 as an art director, production designer, screenwriter and director.
In 2003, he was invited by ESTC to design the Art Direction / Production Design discipline program, which did not exist until then, and was his teacher from 2004 to 2011.
In 2012, he made his first short film, O QUE ARDE CURA, awarded in the Competition of the International Film Festival of Locarno.
João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata are working on several projects, at different stages of development: the feature films O SORRISO DE AFONSO, TOMÉ, O INCRÉU and SAN MA LOU 270, MACAU (the latter co-directed with Guerra da Mata), the documentary WHERE IS THIS STREET? (co-directed with Guerra da Mata) and the short film UM PRÍNCIPE NO QUARTEL.