I think that the only category that can create true thought is time, says Portuguese director André Gil Mata, a graduate of Béli Tarr’s Film.Factory and the best director at last year’s IndieLisboa. In The Tree, Gil Mata gives voice to silent—which doesn’t mean quiet—cinema, using long shots and unvarying camera movements to destroy the impression of time’s linear nature. The two protagonists meet in a Sarajevo subsumed in darkness and war—a boy looking for his mother and a man who sets out every day before dawn with bottles to collect water for his entire building. However, the genesis of this meeting remains a mystery: Is this not one person who exists in two dimensions? Cinema has always been about gestures, says Gil Mata; ordinary activities thus take on an abstract, “timeless” form in The Tree, and loneliness finds in it the most basic, most profound dimension. As Alberto Caeiro wrote, we don’t miss the ship leaving for far away; what we miss the most is ourselves.
IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival 2018 - Best Director; Lima Indepiendente, Peru 2018 - Best Fiction Feature; CinEuphoria Awards 2019 - Best Director, Editing, Cinematography, Top Ten of the Year
Born in 1978, S. João da Madeira, Portugal. Studied mathematics and worked in photography and theatre. Gil Mata worked from 2001 until 2008 as a film curator for Festival de Cinema Luso Brasileiro de Santa Maria da Feira. He founded the Photography and Film Independent LabStudio Átomo47. He founded the production company Bando à Parte. Gil Mata obtained his master degree in film direction in 2012, at Lisbon Theatre and Film School and finished his PhD at Film. Factory (Sarajevo) in 2016. In 2010, he was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus at Berlin Film Festival. His short films won several awards having been shown in several international festivals. Captivity (2012), his first feature-length documentary, was awarded at Doclisboa 2012 and won the DocAlliance Award 2013. How I Fell in Love with Eva Ras (2016) was premiered at FidMarseille where it won the Special Mention of the Jury of the International Competition. His last-feature film, The Tree (2018) premiered at 68th Berlinale, in the Forum section.
2009 Arca D'Água / Water Ark (short)
2010 Casa / House (short)
2012 Cativeiro / Captivity (doc.)
2013 O Coveiro / The Gravedigger (short)
2016 Kako sam se zaljubio u Evu Ras / Como Me Apaixonei por Eva Ras / How I Fell in Love with Eva Ras
2017 In a Snow Globe (short)
2018 Drzewo / Drvo / A Árvore / The Tree