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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 20:30
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 18:00
Written by: 
Diogo Costa Amarante
Frederico Costa Amarante Barreto, Mara Costa Amarante
Diogo Costa Amarante
Diogo Costa Amarante
Diogo Costa Amarante, Miguel Cordeiro
F. R. David
Diogo Costa Amarante, Miguel Dias
Curtas Metragens C.R.L
Romanian Premiere
With the support of

The Golden Bear winner of the Berlinale Shorts 2017, Small Town is an endearing cinematic stream of consciousness about that frightful moment when a human being becomes aware of its own mortality. Six-years old Frederico's refusal to go to sleep after being taught at school that people die when their hearts stop beating triggers an emotional journey. Protagonists are the boy and his mother, as well as the director himself, who revisits his childhood fears. The sensations they experience make a mix of horror and tenderness translated into film language by means of a highly intelligent emotional montage. "I suppose he is beginning to understand human interaction", Frederico's mother reckons. "How to shape himself to forge the world around him". It's something we all have to do, with every step that drifts us away from the safety of the womb. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2017)

Diogo Costa Amarante

BIEFF finalist with The White Roses in 2014, Diogo Costa Amarante was born in Portugal where he initially studied law. He made his directorial debut with Jumate/Jumate, selected in several international film festivals and winner of numerous awards. His second documentary, In January, Perhaps, followed the same successful path. With The White Roses he won the European Grand Prix at the Brest European Short Film Festival. He recently finished his Master of Fine Arts at the New York University / Tisch School of the Arts with his thesis short film Small Town that won the Golden Bear at Berlinale Shorts 2017.

Festivals, awards: 
  • Golden Bear Award for Best Short Film - Berlin International Film Festival 2017
  • Punto de Vista - International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra, Spain 2017
  • International Film Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico 2017
  • Rencontres Internationales New Cinema and Contemporary Art, France 2017
  • Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival, Portugal 2016
Director's statement:
One day, my sister told me that Frederico, my 6-year-old nephew, learned about the human body at school from a teacher who explained to him that people die when their hearts stop. That evening, Frederico didn’t sleep. He woke my sister up several times throughout the night complaining he had a pain in his chest. Hearing this story, I immediately recalled being his age and receiving a collection of books for children that happened to include one titled Why did grandfather die?. Although the book was very colorful, populated by warm characters and communicating its educational message for children with sweet metaphors, I found it absolutely terrifying. The emotional parallel I saw in my childhood memories and my nephew’s experience inspired me to make this film. What I really wanted to represent in Small Town was not a recreation of events but an expression of the emotions I felt reading that book as a child and the tenderness I felt hearing the story of my nephew’s similar experience. (Diogo Costa Amarante, interviewed by Andrew Wilkin for FilmFestivalLifeLine)