Anthropologist Sofia Sampaio was one of the chosen candidates as Visiting Professor in the renowned Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University, and will be in Rhode Island in the Fall Semester of 2021 to show Brown’s students the ‘alternative‘ side of Portuguese Cinema History.

The researcher of the Centro em Rede de Investigaão em Antropologia (CRIA) has dedicated the last years to working with less known and shorter films, which are included in the database of the Arquivo Nacional das Imagens em Movimento.

In these nonfiction films – institutional documentaries, newsreels, family films or fragments of 10 to 20 minutes – the researcher found alternative stories of Portuguese Cinema, which she now wants to show in Brown.

“The work I develop is to go get this more regular, banal, even promotional or institutional production, which served to promote an industry, a tourism region for example, or films that families made in their daily lives in times of celebration, like the birth of their children, and that we still use today, and from there try to see the historical context, but from another perspective, through views not meant to be in the center.”

In these films, Sofia Sampaio found different stories of Portuguese cinema and Portuguese society, not only of success as was the case with the great directors, narrated differently with connection to Brazil and through a feminine perspective

“The history of Portuguese Cinema and other national cinemas so far has been told from the point of view of the great narrative fictions, the great authors and half a dozen filmmakers who have stood out over the decades. As expected, no industry can survive on the basis of three or four fiction films that come out a year, or even that.”

Sofia Sampaio’s work helps complement the story these best-known films narrate.

The researcher also praised the opportunity to start teaching again, something she has not done for about a decade, and in one of the most reputable North-American universities, as well as access to colleagues and resources in Brown.

“It is an opportunity to work with colleagues, researchers, and teachers, who will have research that will certainly interest me as well, with which I want to collaborate, an opportunity to benefit from libraries and where I will certainly find an environment stimulating to do my job.”

Many congratulations Professor Sofia Sampaio!


Note: Sofia Sampaio was originally selected to teach at Brown in the Spring of 2021. Due to the restrictions imposed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, her lecture was postponed to the Fall semester of 2021.

What is the ‘alternative‘ side of Portuguese Cinema?

Come and see all the details about the stories, that Prof. Sofia Sampaio, has found about Portuguese Cinema.