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Pedro Costa on Vitalina Varela, Darkness, and His Filmmaking Process | NYFF57



Pedro Costa discusses Vitalina Varela, a Main Slate selection at the 57th New York Film Festival, presented by Film at Lincoln Center from Friday, September 27 – Sunday, October 13. Third encore screening added! Ticket info: https://filmlinc.org/nyff

Portuguese director Pedro Costa has continually returned in his films to the Fontainhas neighborhood, a shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon that’s home to largely immigrant communities. Not merely a chronicler of the poor and dispossessed, Costa renders onscreen characters that exist somewhere between real and fictional, the living and the dead. His latest, a film of deeply concentrated beauty, stars nonprofessional actor Vitalina Varela in a truly remarkable performance. Reprising and expanding upon her haunted supporting role from Costa’s Horse Money (NYFF52), she plays a Cape Verdean woman who has come to Fontainhas for her husband’s funeral after being separated from him for decades due to economic circumstance, and despite her alienation begins to establish a new life there. The grief of the present and the ghosts of the past commingle in Costa’s ravishing chiaroscuro compositions, a film of shadow and whisper that might be the director’s most visually extraordinary work. A Grasshopper Film release.

A centerpiece of New York culture since 1963, the New York Film Festival will introduce the most essential new cinematic works from around the world to U.S. audiences in its Main Slate. NYFF will also continue to feature a variety of titles in different sections and sidebars, including Spotlight on Documentary, newly rejuvenated classics in Restorations and Revivals, a diverse selection of international and locally made Shorts, the ever-expanding experimental showcase Projections, and the immersive storytelling experiences of the cutting-edge Convergence. Additionally, there will be an exciting lineup of special events, free filmmaker talks and panel discussions, and the latest editions of our annual Industry and Critic Academies.

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