Arena

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    Arena

    Directed by

    Portugal

    2009

    15 min

    • Portuguese

    Drama, Short

    Mauro is under house arrest. Tattooing helps him while away the time. Three local kids taunt him through his window. Outside, the midday sun beats down.

    Awards

    • Palme d'Or (Short Film) - Cannes IFF
    • Best Portuguese Short Film - IndieLisboa

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Carloto Cotta
    Rodrigo Madeira
    Cláudio Rosa
    Rafael Sardo
    Screenplay
    João Salaviza
    Cinematography
    Vasco Viana
    Editing
    João Salaviza

    Director's Statement

    What interests me more than capturing the transformations a place might undergo, is the tension that builds in the moments where nothing changes. The lead in “Arena” is restricted by limitations of both space and time. By filming Mauro in home confinement I was faced with the situation of a man with nowhere to go. I followed through with that idea from the script to the editing. With the rule that no shot would prefigure the protagonist’s trajectory, nor suggest to him paths he simply could not see. That is right for someone who lives in a house with bars on the windows, and who secretly hopes that things will change by themselves.

    Production
    FILMES DO TEJO II
    João Salaviza

    João Salaviza

    Portugal

    I always feel that cinema is ahead of me. It’s the films that drive me.

    Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1984, he studied at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema in Lisbon and at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. His short films ARENA (Palme d’Or at Cannes), CERRO NEGRO (International Film Festival Rotterdam) and RAFA (Golden Bear at the 2012 Berlinale) screened at over 100 festivals around the world and won numerous prizes. His feature film debut MOUNTAIN premiered in the International Critics’ Week at the 2015 Venice International Film Festival. Another visit to Berlinale Shorts followed with HIGH CITIES OF BONE in 2017. His short RUSSA, premiered at Berlinale Shorts 2018. His most recent feature film THE DEAD AND THE OTHERS, co-directed with Renée Nader Messora has been selected in Cannes, Un Certain Regard 2018.

    Selected Filmography