Project Description

Flora Gomes

Portrait of filmmaker Flora Gomes

McMillan-Stewart Fellow 2021-22

Flora Gomes was born in Cadique, Guinea-Bissau in 1949. He studied cinema in Cuba before receiving instruction from Paulin Soumanou Vieyra on newsreel production in Senegal and working as a journalist. His career took off with Mortu Nega (Those Whom Death Refused) in 1988, which was awarded many international prizes and had commercial success. This was followed in 1992 by Udju Azul di Yonta (The Blue Eyes of Yonta), which was elected for Un Certain Regard at Cannes. In 1996 he presented his film Po di Sangui (Tree of Blood) for competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Many critics consider the award-winning film to be his best. His feature film My Voice (Nha fala) (2002) has also won him several local and international awards. In 2005, Gomes was recognized by the University of Lisbon, receiving a medal celebrating the universality of his work. In the same year, Gomes was the president of the ECOWAS jury at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO). Gomes’ films often deal with history, memory and modern cultural identity in post-independence Guinea-Bissau. –AFFNY