With 25 years of activity, d’Orfeu AC has followed a successful path of intense artistic and cultural production, with diverse impacts at local, regional, national, and international levels.
Part of ART&TUR’s 2021 documentary section, the “d’Orfeu AC Vida Selvagem” doc, celebrates the association’s 25 years, with memories of its entire community, presenting it also to new audiences.
In this interview, d’Orfeu’s Executive Coordinator, responsible for Multimedia & Communications, and also the director of the film, Ana Filipa Flores, outlines namely, the association’s history and activities, the motivation behind the film, the challenges faced while making it and its internal and external contribution.
What is the history of d’Orfeu and what is it dedicated to?
A: d’Orfeu is a cultural association that started its activity in 1995, in the city of Águeda, with the goal of stimulating cultural activities through music and its relationship with all other forms of expression. In the early years, it energetically stimulated the formation of traditional, rural and urban music. In the following years, it focused its activity on the production and creation of several festivals and music-theatrical shows.
Currently, d’Orfeu organizes five annual events: Festival i! – arts for children and families; Festim – inter-municipal festival of music from around the world; O Gesto Orelhudo Festival; OuTonalidades – Portuguese live music circuit; and Backstage Congress. The association has 10 music-theatrical creations on stage and is also a school – Escola de Palco, with around 30 students of Music, Theater and Stage.
What was the motivation behind making this film?
A: December 4th 2020, marked the 25th anniversary of d’Orfeu AC. Since 2019, the entire team had been working on a great show, which would bring together the entire d’Orfeu family on a performed journey, through these 25 years of intense activity. The documentary “d’Orfeu AC Vida Selvagem” would integrate this show, divided into five parts. d’Orfeu has always recorded its moments in video and audio, but there had never been a chronological compilation of all these images.
What were the main challenges?
A: Due to the pandemic, the entire d’Orfeu team was forced to work remotely in the first months of 2020. This fact, in the middle of the process of collecting and researching images/sounds, made the entire documentary production phase very difficult. It forced us to take home the external disks, DVDs and VHS. All content selection work had to be done outside d’Orfeu. Converting VHS and DVDs, under these conditions, was also not an easy task. Still, the most challenging part was choosing the 30 minutes of images, given the huge amount of material that d’Orfeu has. The documentary text was tailor-made for the voice of Eduardo Rêgo, and the images had to establish a very strong connection with what was being narrated. Like any work, making this documentary had to overcome several difficulties, but it was an excellent challenge for the entire team involved.
Is the end result as you originally anticipated?
A: Honestly, the final result exceeded our expectations. When we started working on the documentary, we were afraid of not being able to combine the images with the text in such a fluid way. But, as the editing was being done, we were becoming more and more satisfied with what was being made. In the end, hearing Eduardo Rêgo’s voice narrating our story was indescribable.
What do you consider to be the film’s contribution to d’Orfeus’s activity?
A: Until now, those who didn’t know d’Orfeu had no way of discovering the entire history of the association, apart from what was already written. “d’Orfeu AC Vida Selvagem” portrays 25 years of culture, 25 years of true wildlife, fighting for more and better conditions for artists and art professionals, never forgetting to surprise the public every year. A tribute to all those who made the history of d’Orfeu, but also to all those who produce culture every day. Thus, d’Orfeu now has a documentary about its history to share with its audience or with those who are only now coming across its path, nationally or internationally.
What do you consider to be the film’s contribution to the national cultural outline?
A: There are hundreds and hundreds of cultural associations in Portugal. This documentary portrays the experience of only one of them, d’Orfeu AC. However, there will be many organisations that will identify with d’Orfeu’s work and the difficulties it faces on a daily basis. The message here serves as a warning to the state of the culture in Portugal, showing how, with so little, so much has been done. Raise awareness to what still needs to be done in the recognition of these associations and to how urgent it is to invest in culture and its professionals.
How important is it to participate in a festival like ART&TUR?
A: ART&TUR does an excellent job in the dissemination of audiovisual tourism productions, providing value not only to the films presented but also to their creators. Being able to share the documentary at this Festival means making it known to the entire Central Region and to the festival’s participants, whether they are the general public or representatives of official tourism organisations, marketing professionals, influencers, filmmakers, creative directors, international journalists or media representatives. An excellent opportunity to introduce d’Orfeu AC and its work to more people!