ReFocus: The Films of João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
José Duarte/Filipa Rosário

ReFocus: The Films of João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata


With a career that spans over twenty years, João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata are one of the most creative duos in contemporary filmmaking working within the context of Portuguese cinema. Acknowledged by several film festivals (Cannes, Indie Lisboa, Locarno, New York) as major Portuguese directors, and by the Harvard Film Archive as creators whose works “reflect the multifarious history of film, from classic genres to experimental film”, both filmmakers have contributed to the growing interest in Portuguese cinema.


Their works, either individually or collaborative, tell us particular stories of love and human desire, mythologizing places, environments and characters. Rodrigues and Guerra da Mata’s cinema challenge the audience by placing the viewers in hybrid territories where the auteurs explore their own obsessions: from the urban streets of Lisbon (O Fantasma/The Phantom, 2000), to the dark alleys of Macao (A Última Vez Que Vi Macau/The Last Time I Saw Macao, 2012), and to the “natural” world of O Ornitólogo/The Ornithologist (2016).


Together, or individually, they have been delving into different portraits that defy general cinematic conventions and focus on the constant reinvention of cinema and identity. In this sense, the authors’ own journey in cinema is also a journey on the many possibilities of the different identities and cultures that an artist (and a nation) can encompass and inhabit.


Within this context, we are accepting submissions on any aspect of these directors’ oeuvre – from comprehensive approaches (influences, themes, style) to more diverse essays –, but we are especially looking for chapters on the following:


-          João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata as auteurs;

-          Melodrama;

-          Identity;

-          Displacements;

-          The local and the global;

-          Marginal cinema;

-          Transnational cinema;

-          Oriental cycle (Multiculturalism, Identity);

-          Queer Cinema;

-          Gender/Genre;

-          Contemporary art cinema;

-          Mise-en-scène and/or dispositifs;

-          Soundscapes;

-          Digital filmmaking;

-          Artworks and Installations;

-          Autobiography/Memory;

-          Docufiction;

-          Expanded cinema;

-          Slow cinema;



The Films of João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata will be one of the scholarly editions to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press in the ReFocus series on international directors. Series editors are Robert Singer, PhD and Gary D. Rhodes, PhD.


Please send your 250-750 word proposal and CV to by June 15, 2018. We welcome initial email enquiries to discuss possible proposals.


Final submissions will be approximately 6000 to 8000 words, in English, referenced in Chicago endnote style, and submitted by November 1, 2018.


Any questions can be sent to

José Duarte & Filipa Rosário

(School of Arts & Humanities, University of Lisbon)