Gabriel Abrantes | Portugal

Filmmaker, visual artist and professor active in filmmaking, installation and painting. His cinematography makes striking use of sarcasm, parody and other related figures of speech, such as pastiche and irony, manipulating the clichés found in mass culture products and in global peripheries. Aware of the global scale the entertainment industry has attained, the plots of his films address broader contexts such as colonialism, imperialism and the cultural and gender identities that rose to prominence early on in this century, articulated through laughter and an iconoclastic view of art history. His works have been shown in exhibitions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, in Cambridge, United States; the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, France; and Centre Georges Pompidou, also in Paris. Frequent collaborators include the artists and filmmakers Daniel Schmidt, Benjamin Crotty and Ben Rivers.  He studied Film and Visual Arts at The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art, New York, from 2002 to 2006, during which period he also went on an exchange program to Paris’ École Nationale de Beaux-Arts. In 2008, he completed a postgraduate course at the Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in Tourcoing, France. Since 2014, he teaches Film at the Haute École d’Art et Design, in Geneva, Switzerland, where he lives and works.

Liberdade | 2011, video

Shot in Luanda, the film tells the story of the relationship between an Angolan young man named Liberdade [Freedom] and his Chinese girlfriend, and the problems that arise when his impotence drives him to steal some Viagra from a drugstore. Traveling between Angolan rural and urban landscapes, the film explores the amorous relationships forged in an age of mass migrations and the economic consequences of foreign capital in Africa. A prizewinner at the Locarno (2011) and Indie Lisbon (2011) Festivals.


Gabriel Abrantes also participates in the 19th Festival’s Film Programs. Find out more.