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Imaginary Friends is a documentary and a performance, which invites the audience to watch a documentary film during its post-production phase with live addition of sound effects in a Foley* studio. It is a reflection on what cinema can become while exploiting an effect most widely used for construction of believable illusions.
The film aims at disillusioning its viewers, preventing them from forgetting the unreality and the tricks used to create the magic of cinema, to make them believe that all is true .
* Foley is a process of creating sound effects recorded in a Foley studio, where sounds of steps, closing doors, thunderclaps etc. are reproduced by sound designers alongside the film with the purpose of making the scenes appear more realistic.
Rita Barbosa is a visual artist. Graduated in the Digital Arts, from the Sound and Image course at UCP (2002). Her recent project Imaginary friends, premiered at Temps d’Image and was presented at the Rivoli Theater in Porto and Convento São francisco. Her first short film Friends After Dark, produced by O Som e a Fúria, premiered internationally at the Locarno Festival. She has been an advertising Director since 2006 and has collaborated in the creation, visual conception, video and scenography on various projects in the areas of theatre, dance and performance, among which Três Dedos Abaixo do Joelho, by Tiago Rodrigues. She has directed experimental videos such as Get Bent and Pop Fish, shown at exhibitions and festivals such as the Cartier Foundation, Impakt and Courtisane.
Artistic Direction Rita Barbosa
Sound Design Rui Lima e Sérgio Martins, with the collaboration of Jonathan Saldanha
Performance Rui Lima, Sérgio Martins e Daniel Pizamiglio
Production Henrique Figueiredo
Sound Technician João Pratas
Stage Management Helena Ribeiro
Light Design Rui Monteiro
Graphic Design Dayana Lucas e Pedro Nora
Director of Photography Jorge Quintela
1st Camera Assistant Miguel Ângelo
2nd Camera Assistant Bruno Medeiros
Editing Rita Barbosa
Colorist Nuno Garcia – Spectacular Studio
Financial Support Câmara Municipal do Porto/ Criatório, SPA e AGECOP
Support Take It Easy, Planar, Teatro do Bolhão, Circolando, Mala Voadora, Spectacular Studio
Co-production Residency O Espaço do Tempo
Thanks to Ópera Isto Associação, Hotel Vila Galé Porto, EPES – Escola Profissional de Economia Social, Fundação Escultor José Rodrigues, Lipor, Associação de Comandos
Special Thanks to Ana Carocinho, Ana Paula Sousa, António Selas, Bruno Bogarim, Cláudia Santos, Dayana Lucas, Daniel Oliveira, Daniel Ribas, Ekaterina Solomina, Filipe Pureza, Francisco Alves, Janine Lamas, Joana Dilão, João Pedro Dias, Joaquim Fernandes, Jorge Garcia, José Manuel Castro, Maria Varela, Mariana Dixe, Miguel Guia, Nanica, Nuno Garcia, Paula Marques, Patrícia Carvalho, Pedro Barreiras, Pedro Nora, Pedro Nuñes, Rui Horta, Sofia Arriscado, Susana Picanço
Amigos imaginários (Imaginary Friends) is a fascinating film/performance by Rita Barbosa, performed live by two experienced musicians (Rui Lima e Sergio Martins) as well by Daniel Pizamiglio, a solid performer living and working in Portugal since several years. Multifaceted composer Jonathan Saldanha has also collaborated in this production. This is a sensitive work entering the universe of film and revealing us a parallel reality of sounds performed live, that alter, challenge and question our perception towards the images we witness. What is true and what is constructed? How do we perceive film and what stories are added when we witness the unfolding of a life performance intimately connected with the screen behind it?
At the end, we are simply fascinated and immersed in pure poetry. Especially during this times of pandemic, where screens triumphed over all forms of communication, this work adds a layer of humanism and touching honesty to the performance rituals. At times it almost feels as a logbook of sound memories is being added to the images, as if the silence itself becomes unbearable. Other times we welcome this same silence of the screen as a statement of freedom – moments of silence generously offered to us in a world full of noises.