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Irina Calado • Producer

“Documentaries are the most powerful awakening tool in cinema”


- An interview with Portuguese producer Irina Calado of Até ao Fim do Mundo, one of the participants of the 2018 Emerging Producers

Irina Calado • Producer

An interview with Portuguese producer Irina Calado of Até ao Fim do Mundo, one of the participants of Jihlava's 2018 Emerging Producers.

1. Why do you produce documentaries? Do you believe that they have the power to change the world?
Irina Calado: 
I believe that documentaries are the most powerful awakening tool in cinema. The cinema I want to watch, as a spectator, is the one that shows me different perspectives, and leads me to think, to act, and to do better as a person. The cinema I want to watch is the cinema I want to produce. Documentary films allow me to do that.

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Having the privilege to contribute as a producer, to give life to stories that need to be told, is the most amazing and rewarding experience. Documentaries are changing the world, one person at a time. They have changed myself. 

What do you think is the future of distribution of documentary films?
As producers we need to re-evaluate the old distribution strategies. I believe that VOD platforms and online distribution are a strong bet.

What projects do you have under way?
I'm currently working on several projects:
- Horrible Beauty, by Jorge Pelicano. A documentary feature about forest fires that scourge Portugal every summer. A documentary about the way that television networks exploit the situation up to the last drop of blood, sweat and tears. It’s about the line that separates their informative role from sensationalism. It’s about the aestheticization of the catastrophe served to the viewers almost like a catastrophe-movie, whose main protagonist is fire, the horrible beauty, work of nature that fascinates and destroys. No special effects are needed, just effective editing and matching music.
Viewfinder by Filipe Carvalho, an animated documentary series about intimate conversations with war journalists and photo journalists that choose to report history in real time from the most dangerous places in the world.
Mother’s Love, by Irina Calado, an animated short about motherly love pushed to the limit. A story that questions the extent to which a mother's protective instinct becomes asphyxiating and painful.
Joe Nobody, a documentary animated feature about the Portuguese participation in the Great War. Stories within history. Stories about unknown Portuguese soldiers and about the universal human drive to survive. 


Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2019 edition is 31 March, 2018. Click here.

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