The medieval tower-house located on a narrow street of Porto, Source: Porto Municipality / Filipa Brito

Porto will house analogue cinema lab in a medieval tower

Porto will house analogue cinema lab in a medieval tower

This disappearing craft now has a new, and hopefully permanent, home

Cinematography is increasingly becoming digital in the modern world. Many filmmakers, however, remain committed to the appeal of creating movies the old-fashioned way: shooting on a reel, splicing and developing in a lab.

For that purpose, the Municipality of Porto has decided to open the doors of a medieval tower-house for those who want to keep the artisanal side of film-making alive. The property, which has stayed unused for the past 15 years, will now be converted into an analogue cinema lab under the name Torre Cinema Laboratory.

The lab will be a non-profit and co-op venue

The medieval house is located in the Barredo area, two steps away from the Douro River. And it is a beautiful example of repurposing old architectural monuments in the service of cultural preservation.

The project's operating model will seek to adjust to the needs of the various target audiences – from directors, artists and technicians to students and amateurs. This can happen either as a studio for associates with knowledge already acquired in the film laboratory; as an open laboratory for public use; or through the creation of training programs, exchanges, provision of services, internships, and also artistic residencies.

"With the occupation of this property, we intend to develop the Torre Cinema Laboratory project, focusing on the practice, experimentation, production and training in the field of analogue cinema formats, namely film in Super-8, 16mm and 35mm formats," could be read in the proposal presented by the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira.

The new lab will be associated with the Batalha Cinema Centre in Porto. Its artistic director, Guilherme Blanc explained that: “In the Portuguese context there is no other laboratory with this profile, being cooperative or associative, and non-profit, which therefore can have a very interesting use for the class of directors and artists who work with these formats."



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