THE GRAVEDIGGER (14', Portugal, 2013)

Screening: Sa, 14 Dec., Elvira Popescu Cinema, 8:00pm

Combining stop-motion animation with live action, THE GRAVEDIGGER is a horror fairytale of gothic and expressionistic influences, about a man with a monstrous face and a golden heart. The film brings together a group of bizarre characters - a dwarf who involuntarily cuts the heads of those he meets, a sleeping-beauty who falls in love with the headless gravedigger - into a tale with a lurid happy ending. Echoing classic genre films, like Nosferatu or Tales from the Gimli Hospital, and with a voice-over reminiscent of Vincent Price, THE GRAVEDIGGER makes the viewer return to a childlike state, tightly clutching his blanket as he anxiously listens to horror stories. (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2013)



Cast: Carlos Monteiro, Valdemar Santos, David Almeida

Screenplay: André Gil Mata

Cinematography: Jorge Quintela, Paulo Abreu

Editing: Karen Akerman

Music: Pedro Augusto

Animation: André Gil Mata

Sound: Pedro Augusto, Gustavo Bacelos, Vasco Carvalho

Producer: Rodrigo Areias

Production: Bando à Parte


World Sales


Salette Ramalho





ANDRÉ GIL MATA (b. 1978) first studied Mathematics. After working in photography and theatre, he soon founded the Photography and Cinema Laboratory Átomo47. He is one of the members of the production company “Bando à Parte”. WATER ARK (2009) is his first film as a director. HOUSE (2010) and his feature CAPTIVITY (2012) followed. In 2012, he finished his master degree in film direction at ESTC and he’s currently starting his PhD at Film Factory (Sarajevo).



Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival 2013

Indielisboa International Independent Film Festival 2013

Yorn Prize for the Best Portuguese Short Horror – MOTELx Lisbon International Horror Film Festival 2013


“The idea for the film arose from daily life with two children and a desire to write a story for them. Their absence led me to decide to make a movie from this tale and my purpose was to keep it hand-made and simple. As sources of inspiration there are some films from Universal and the German expressionism which I am absolutely fascinated with, also Gorey, E. A. Poe, etc. And of course, if we think of what inspires us, we all grew up in love with Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands. I hope that my work could make me more sincere and heartfelt in the way of seeing life.” (ANDRÉ GIL MATA)



“Dark, creepy, cynical and even romantic are the appropriate words to describe ANDRÉ GIL MATA’s new movie. THE GRAVEDIGGER points to classic horrors like Nosferatu or Tales from the Gimli Hospital. Amongst the grandiosely outlined characters there is a dwarf who unwillingly kills innocents, an eternal sleeping beauty and a gravedigger who has a compulsive way of doing his duty. Shot in black and white, the movie has a texture that is almost alive and tangible, and the poetic conception in charming narration pays homage to the horror genre.” (Mihai Teodor, BIEFF 2013)

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