Festival internacional Signos da Noite - Lisboa
International Festival Signs of the Night - Lisbon

7° Festival internacional Signos da Noite - Lisboa - December 26-31, 2021

19th International Festival Signs of the Night - Portugal




Cristina Motta
Argentina, Colombia / 2021 / 0:10:00

A camera. Landscapes in which dirt tracks barely hide the mass graves and in which the bodies of the “disappeared” flow down the river. With an incisive tone, Cristina Motta calls for the memory of the people who fell victim to the violence in Argentina and Colombia, two territories she holds dear.




For its subdued power derived from the gravity of a woman’s voice, and for its charged use of surfaces - water, earth, muck and rubble - as metaphor for the erasure of the memory of victims of violence and enforced disappearances in the geographies of Argentina and Colombia, the Main Award goes to Superficies by Cristina Motta.


The Signs Award honours films, which treat an important subject in an original and convincing way

Clean With Me (After Dark)

Gabrielle Stemme
France / 2019 / 0:21:00

On YouTube, hundreds of women are filming themselves cleaning their homes.



For her work that locates and examines the continuing struggle of women in the home, and for using an approach that begins as a simple internet research that ultimately transforms into a modern day feminist film, the Signes Award goes to Clean With Me (After Dark) by Gabrielle Stemme.


The Night Award honours films, which are able to balance ambiguity and complexity characterized by enigmatic mysteriousness and subtleness, which keeps mind and consideration moving

Desert Lights

Luces del desierto
Félix Blume
Mexico / 2021 / 0:30:00

Some strange lights appear at night in the Mexican desert. The residents tell us what they’ve seen: fire, a fireball, lights flying, lightning falling from the sky and a flash. The singularity of each experience builds a complete story narrated by a choir of people. An encounter with this strange phenomena can be surprising, dangerous or even fatal. The night isn’t as dark as it seems. The desert is full of all kinds of living beings. This emptiness is the place for everyone. Desert Lights invites us to open our eyes wide in the twilight and to listen to the sounds hidden in the blackness. A horror movie, in the darkness of the desert.




For demonstrating how a deep understanding of sound choreographed against overwhelming darkness and a scarcity of light can bend perceptions, and magnify fear, we are unanimous in presenting the Night Award to "Luces Del Desierto" (Desert Lights) by Felix Blume.


Phantasmagoria, 1945

Karl Nussbaum
Germany, USA / 2020 / 0:11:08

Phantasmagoria, 1945 is the story told by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels to his six young children while presenting an after-dinner slide show using a magic lantern and glass slides. It’s a children’s ghost story about propaganda and the media, a meditation on the past as a warning to the present. This film was part of a four-channel video installation presented at Schloss Rheydt – the actual castle that Goebbels was given by the town of Mönchengladbach in 1942. And this is the same town where the creator’s father was born and escaped from in 1939. The opening footage was shot at the actual castle.




A hallucinatory and necessary retelling of the infamy and tragedy of Germany’s Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in the context of a subconsciousness in German culture which can inflame fascism.


The Edward Snowden AWARD honors films, which offer sensitive (mostly) unknown information, facts and phenomenons of eminent importance, for which the festival wishes a wide proliferation in the future

The Recess

Navid Nikkhah Azad
Iran / 2021 / 0:11:40

Seventeen-year-old Sahar is determined to watch her favorite soccer team play for the league championship. Barred from attending sports events as a woman, Sahar disguises herself as a boy with the help of her friends. Things take a tragic turn when Sahar’s disguise is uncovered. Inspired by true events, The Recess explores gender oppression in Iranian society.




For highlighting the limits of freedoms that women in Iran suffer by framing the story of Sahar Khodayari within an all too ordinary recess period in school, the Edward Snowden Award for Short Film is given to "The Recess" by Navid Nikkhah Azad.


As tragic and heart-breaking the self-immolation and death of Sahar Khodayari is, her departure serves as deep sorrow which penetrates into our hearts and starts living inside our soul.As part of a society, and above all as a human, I can’t stop thinking about the dimensions of this very tragedy, be it social, political or else, it deeply affects our lives down to every core and cell. However, I’d like to think of Blue Girl as an individual soul, with a deep character within.What made me think of it as a subject for a movie, and a serious concern as a filmmaker, was that the truth about Sahar Khodayari, her life story, who she was and what she did, was majorly disrupted by the government and the media. She was made a person with no “past.” So I decided to make this film about “Blue Girl” to give her a “past” she deserved, and to remind the global community “who she was" and "what she did.


A Year in Exile

Malaz Usta
Turkey / 2020 / 0:19:00

This is the story of a lonely and young Syrian immigrant’s first year outside his small country in a metropolitan city, Istanbul. Through a collection of images and sounds, the film exhibits what he faces, the pictures that he sees, the crowded thoughts in his head, and the state of shock that he lives throughout this year.




An important aspect of film is its ability to bypass the traditional ways of communication, to reach unexpected places and show us new stories which amplify our sense of connection with the other. I am really glad that my story got the attention that it deserves.