Photo: Gonçalo Castelo Soares/Doclisboa

Producer and programmer Paula Astorga is the new director of Doclisboa International Film Festival. Astorga directed Mexico’s National Cinematheque from 2010 to 2014, where she was in charge of its complete renovation. Throughout an extensive career in which she has worked with numerous institutions in different countries, she has developed an important body of work, giving special attention to the processes of creation, the modes of programming and exhibition, and the facilitation of contexts of encounter between cinema and its audiences.

Paula Astorga takes over from Miguel Ribeiro, a director who has grown along with the festival in various capacities, playing a fundamental role in shaping it as an international space open to contemporary cinema, opening up new paths and challenging the present. “Over 11 years, I have experienced many of the most rewarding moments of my life at Doclisboa – professionally, artistically, personally and emotionally. I’ve always done it together with some of the most extraordinary people one can work with and it’s been an honour to direct the festival in these four editions. Together with the team, we went through challenging times and I’m happy to see Doclisboa continues as a living, pulsating place, traversed by the world and as the perfect meeting point for the restlessness and imagination of the future. It is with great joy and total confidence in Doclisboa’s future that I see Paula Astorga take over as its director”, says Ribeiro, who will now coordinate and program the cultural space Casa do Comum.

Paula Astorga, for her part, is excited with the new professional challenge: “It is with the utmost sincerity and emotion that I welcome this unique opportunity to become part of this great celebration that is Doclisboa, a space where extraordinary possibilities for exchange are being explored, where I have witnessed the different contexts and the diversity of voices and gazes of the places we inhabit as critical thinkers, as cinephiles, as spectators and, of course, as creators. Doclisboa is a space of exchange of conceptual, philosophical, aesthetic, social and plural richness with which I share the same concerns, belongings and objectives that have accompanied my years of work and my vision. With enthusiasm and commitment, I hope that under my direction Doclisboa will continue to consolidate itself as a reference for its audiences, for Portugal and for the world’s entire independent film ecosystem”.

Regarding the choice of the new director, Apordoc‘s board of directors has full confidence in her profile and in the future of Doclisboa. “Paula Astorga seemed to us unanimously to be the right name to direct the festival: a choice in complete harmony with our vision of documentary. Knowing that she has wholeheartedly embraced the challenge we set her makes us happy and confident. We know what a great responsibility it is to continue a project that has reached the maturity and resourcefulness of Doclisboa, which renews itself with each edition, while maintaining the necessary fragility in the face of a reality that never ceases to change and surprise. Our choice converges not only from a political point of view but, above all, in the wisdom and complicity in relation to cinema that Paula Astorga has demonstrated many times. We are sure that having Astorga directing Doclisboa will be an inspiration to the intelligence and sensitivity of all of us.”

Doclisboa closes its 21st edition today. In 2024, under the direction of Paula Astorga, the festival will return to the city from October 17 to 27, the month in which the whole world fits in Lisbon.