24 Abr Isabel Moura Mendes

Portuguese & Brazilian Programme Curator



Profile: Isabel Moura Mendes is a Portuguese-Capeverdean freelance arts manager, with a focus on African & lusophone film curation. She holds an MA in Arts & Cultural Management from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, where she is based. Alongside her arts management practice, she is currently programming for film festivals in Edinburgh, London and Lisbon.

Why have you joined/started this project? I am a strong believer in the transformative power of the arts, so Iberodoc’s remit to celebrate the culture and history of Ibero-American countries through documentary films, engage with local audiences and help integrate the Ibero-American community in Scotland, through cultural exchange – are goals I share full-heartedly.

What makes Iberodocs different from other film festivals? Well, it says it on the tin, no? It is the first showcase for Ibero-American culture in Scotland, focused on documentary films by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American filmmakers! I would personally add that the people who dedicate their heart and souls to making this festival happen are also what sets us apart from others.

What is, from your point of view, the contribution of this film event to Edinburgh’s cultural/social life? Iberodocs does expand the international film offer available in Scotland, that is non refutable, I think. More than one thousand people came to our screenings and events last year and confirmed there was a demand for the contents we programme and screen.

Which item in the programme makes you more happy for being able to bring it to the festival? This year I am super proud of the whole Lusophone programme! It’s grown from 2 films last year to a whopping 7 in 2015! But if I had to choose one – I would highlight the retrospective of the work of Portuguese director Catarina Mourão, who alongside showing some of her films, will be presenting a workshop on her documentary-making career, on Friday May 15th.

What feedback would you like to hear from the audience of the festival? I would love to hear what people thought of the films, how it resonated with them, what they might have learned, what might have moved them, etc. It’s when they voice their opinions on what they saw – whether in a director’s Q&A or to me personally while exiting the cinema; that I get most excited about this work!