Pedro Costa

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Pedro Costa
Pedro Costa (2020).jpg
Born (1958-12-30) 30 December 1958 (age 63)
Alma materUniversity of Lisbon
Lisbon Theatre and Film School
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1984-present

Pedro Costa (born 30 December 1958)[1] is a Portuguese film director.


While studying history at University of Lisbon, Costa switched to film courses at Lisbon Theatre and Film School (Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema) where he was a student of António Reis, Paulo Rocha and Alberto Seixas Santos. After working as an assistant director to several directors such as Jorge Silva Melo, Vítor Gonçalves and João Botelho, he made a first feature film O Sangue in 1989.

He collected the France Culture Award (Foreign Cineaste of the Year) at 2002 Cannes Film Festival for directing the film In Vanda's Room. Colossal Youth was selected for the 2006 Cannes Film Festival[2] and earned the Independent/Experimental prize (Los Angeles Film Critics Association) in 2008.

Style and influences[edit]

He is considered to be part of "The School of Reis" film family. António Reis, Portuguese director, was his teacher at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School.

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called Pedro Costa "the Samuel Beckett of cinema".[3] He is acclaimed for using his ascetic style to depict the marginalised people in desperate living situations. Many of his films are set in a district of Lisbon inhabited by socially disadvantaged and shot in a natural and low-key way in documentary format: some are docufictions.



Documentaries and shorts[edit]

  • Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (2001) (documentary)
  • State of the World (2007) - "Tarrafal" segment (short)
  • Memories (2007) - "The Rabbit Hunters" segment (short)
  • Change Nothing (2009) (documentary)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Prémios Gulbenkian: Realizador Pedro Costa distinguido na categoria Arte". Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 11 July 2008. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2015. Pedro Costa nasceu em Lisboa, 30 de Dezembro de 1958.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Colossal Youth". Retrieved 2009-12-13.
  3. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (17 September 2009). "Pedro Costa, the Samuel Beckett of cinema". The Guardian.

Further reading[edit]

  • Malte Hagener / Tina Kaiser (ed.), Pedro Costa. Film-Konzepte 41 (edition text + kritik, 2016).
  • Fajgenbaum, Emma, Cinema as Disquiet - The Ghostly Realism of Pedro Costa, New Left Review 116, London (June 2019).

External links[edit]