THE ORNITHOLOGIST | Dir. João Pedro Rodrigues | 2016 | 117 min | PG
Presented in Portuguese, Mandarin, and Latin with English subtitles
Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues’ The Ornithologist is a majestic and mesmerizing film that transcends genres and constantly transforms itself. The film starts by following Fernando (played by Paul Hamy), an ornithologist, who goes off to a remote northern part of Portugal to study birds, both by foot and kayak. He is so focused on studying the birds that he almost drowns in the river. Fernando is rescued by two female pilgrims who are lost and far away from their intended path towards Santiago de Compostela. The rescue, followed by an unexpected series of events, diverts Fernando deeper into the forest to a place where myth, fables, and religious symbols all live side-by-side.
Shot in glorious widescreen by Rui Poças, The Ornithologist is an adventure film that skillfully layers the story of St. Anthony with thematic elements of science, religion, nature and philosophy and garnishes everything with the essence of Anthony Mann’s Westerns. The end result is a creative cinematic ride that is inventive, delightful, and completely unpredictable!
2016 CHERIES-CHERIES - WINNER (Grand Prize Chéries-Chéris, Feature Film | João Pedro Rodrigues, Prix du Public | João Pedro Rodrigues)
2016 HAMBURG FILM FESTIVAL - NOMINATION (Critics Award | João Pedro Rodrigues)
2016 LOCARNO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - WINNER (Best Director, Main Competition | João Pedro Rodrigues), NOMINATION (Golden Leopard, Best Film | João Pedro Rodrigues)
2016 GHENT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - NOMINATION (Grand Prix | Best Film)
2016 DENVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - WINNER (Krzysztof Kieslowski Award, Special Honorable Mention | João Pedro Rodrigues "For its striking visuals, daring symbolism and unique approach we'd like to give a special mention to Joao Pedro Rodrigues' The Ornithologist."), NOMINATION (Krzysztof Kieslowski Award, Best Film | João Pedro Rodrigues)
2016 SAN SEBASTIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - NOMINATION (Zabaltegi Section, Competition | João Pedro Rodrigues)
2017 CINEUPHORIA AWARDS - NOMINATION (Best Film - National Competition | João Pedro Rodrigues, João Figueiras, Diogo Varela Silva, Best Director - National Competition | João Pedro Rodrigues, Best Actor - National Competition | Paul Hamy, Best Supporting Actor - National Competition | Xelo Cagiao, Best Screenplay - National Competition | João Pedro Rodrigues, Best Cinematography - National Competition | Rui Poças, Best Costume Design - National Competition | Patrícia Dória)
THE ORNITHOLOGIST is the final selection in our CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA series. One-time opportunities to find rising masters and see critically acclaimed, under-exposed world cinema.