saudade - The beauty in sadness
We are a team of third year BA Film students at Middlesex University. We are about to embark upon our final year project, a poetic documentary that examines the meaning of saudade, a word that encapsulates a complex emotion but has no translation in any other language. We have been working on this project since October 2018.
We will be filming our documentary in Portugal and we need your help to make it happen.
what is saudade?
Saudade is a Portuguese word that represents a feeling. To understand it, we need to dive into the Portuguese culture and understand the way Portuguese people feel and what surrounds them.
To help us understand saudade better, we will explore people's experiences in our documentary, as well as the beauty of the natural environment. At its heart, our documentary will examine human connections to feelings, past memories, and the idea of losing innocence. Through our cinematic reflection we hope to find a way to connect everyone with the feeling of saudade.
A journey of self-discovery
This short documentary will ultimately be a journey of self-discovery for the director and hopefully, for our audience too. Cloé Peker (our director) will try and interpret the meaning of saudade, using her own personal reflections, experiences and memories of the past to guide the audience.
Our documentary will be set in Arrábida, an idyllic landscape of the Setúbal district in Portugal, which is slowly being destroyed by a cement factory. Our setting is itself, the natural embodiment of saudade.
With this documentary we want to take the audience on a journey through which they ponder their own feelings and memories. We also want to create awareness of what humans are doing to the environment and how this affects our own lives.
characters & Interviewees
Cloé is the central character in our documentary, guiding the audience through the film. She wants to discover the meaning of Saudade. She associates Arrábida with this feeling and travels back to the place where she grew up to explore her memories and to search for an answer. As an audience, we feel very close to her as she entrusts us with her most personal experiences and feelings.
Arrábida Serra - Just like the personification of the sea and cliffs in Portuguese literature, Arrábida Serra is a character in this documentary. It’s a place that “has seen” a lot of its people's memories, kept their secrets, shared in their stories and holds all of these with “her”.
The way Arrábida Serra is portrayed in the film gives the impression “she” breathes, observes and feels. Just like a wise person, Arrábida is a very majestic character who is suffering from “her own” destruction at the hands of others.
To help Cloé with her personal exploration of saudade, we will be interviewing others with a connection to Arrábida. Our interviewees are:
João Cabeçadas, a sailor who has been around the world many times in his sailing boat and claims that Arrábida “is his backyard”
Piedade Fernandes, Fado singer born in Lisbon who currently lives in Setúbal. She is the artist behind the song Fado Boémio e Vadio featured in the series La Casa de Papel (Netflix, 2017).
We hope to confirm other interviewees in due course!
- Producer: Sara Veiga
- Director: Cloé Peker
- DoP: Aynsley Johnson
- Editor: Bruna Ventura
- Sound Recordist & Designer: Maksim Stech
The core motivation for the crew to be part of this project is that we all have an interest in documentary making. Cloé Peker has won an award for her previous film Uniqueness (2018, UK), which was her first short documentary.
The team has substantial experience and a set of skills that has won them recognition and in some instances acclaim in the past few years. Examples of some of our previous work are below:
- Uniqueness (UK, 2018) - by Cloé Peker
- The Internal Bias (UK, 2018) - produced by Sara Veiga
- Aynsley Johnson's Website
- Bruna Ventura's page and Youtube channel
- Under the Surface (UK, 2018) - by Maksim Stech
Our budget covers all aspects associated with filming our project, however the costs of certain elements (e.g. flights and petrol) may fluctuate and there could be unforeseen costs we have to cover. We have therefore opted to include a decent contingency fund so that we can comfortably cover any price rises or unanticipated expenses.
Our aim is to raise £2,000 in order to cover the following expenses:
- Flights (UK-PT) = £600.00
- Transportation (PT) petrol = £80.00
- Transportation (UK) = £50.00
- Accommodation (Director's house) = £0.00
- Catering = £400.00
- Insurance - equipment = £250.00
- Equipment = £20.00
- Festival Submission Fee - £100.00
- Contingency = £500.00
While we receive a small contribution towards our project from the university, it is up to us to raise the majority of the funding we require.
Any funding left over from our contingency fund or raised above our target will go towards post-production and film promotion. Every penny donated will be put towards helping us complete this project, making a name for ourselves and promoting the environmental message contained within our documentary.
We kindly ask you to help us reach our target so that we can demonstrate our talent as young documentary makers to the world!
Every little bit of help counts. We want to be able to take you on this journey with us and we are very grateful for any support you can provide. With your help, we can reach broader audiences.
You can also help us by sharing our crowdfunding campaign page and our social media pages (see links below).
Without your generous contributions our film wouldn't be possible to make. Therefore we are offering a significant reward for every contribution to say "thank you". For more information you can check the column on the right hand side of this page.
check us out!
During every stage of our crowdfunding campaign and the production of our documentary, we will be posting updates. We have two social media platforms where we'll be posting photos, videos and information about our project and the crew.