Festival internacional Signos da Noite - Lisboa
International Festival Signs of the Night- Lisbon

18° Festival internacional Signos da Noite - Lisboa (6° Edição) - December 27-31, 2020


Clench My Fists

Sarah Trad
USA / 2020 / 0:05:49

“Clench My Fists” is a found-footage collage video that explores the process of growing up in an Arab family deeply affected by death and grief. Using footage from the Lebanese film “In the Battlefields,” as well as “Candy” and “The 100,” and audio from archival recorded Lebanese funeral laments, the video looks at how men and women express grief and anger under the patriarchy, as well as how trauma and childhood experiences can evolve into mental illness and patterns of behavior as adults. “Clench My Fists” is part of a larger body of work dealing with racial identity and the concept of “inherited grief;” that through biological or behavioral means, trauma is passed down through prospective family generations so that family members might experience the residual effects of trauma they did not personally witness. This body of work explores how the death of the artist’s grandfather, an Arab American, caused ripples of mental illness and skewed racial identity through her paternal family. Using filmic material that the artist used to connect with her heritage, “Clench My Fists” is part of a series of work focusing on not only decolonizing Imperialist Western understandings of the Middle East but to also show the beauty of the artist’s heritage, outside the context of her family




“Clench my fists” by the young video artist Sarah Trad, living in the United States from Lebanese origin is a creation about and around the concept of secret between objectivity and deep inner feelings. Clenching fists is a physical and primary gesture that means you are losing control but it also means that it may help you accept your pain more easily. The film by Sarah Trad works on these two internal movements creating an interesting tension and allowing a return to primary childhood. Inspired by footage especially from the famous movie of the great Lebanese director, Danielle Arbid, “In the Battlefields”, and for the soundtrack by lamentation recordings of Arab funerals, Sarah Trad composes a dramatic childhood memory. She imagines how a little girl is able to react in an epidermal way to the trauma develops by the death of her beloved grandfather and how adults caught in their funerary and social ritual can do it. Sarah Trad reveals in her brief and intense learning story a society at war with itself as Danielle Arbid wrote about her own film with heightened subjectivity: “Cruelty was born in the house, that’s where it was leaving and contaminating the whole world”.


I am so honored to be a part of the festival and to be awarded the Main Award for Cinema in Transgression. The Juror's Statement was truly insightful and I am so glad as an artist to see that the work and its intense feelings of longing, grief, healing, home, and strength were acknowledged. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity.


The Signs Award honours films, which treat an important subject in an original and convincing way

I Ran from It and Was Still In I

Darol Olu Kae
USA / 2020 / 0:11:00

"I ran from it and was still in it" poetically interweaves personal family memories with original and found footage to offer a more complex portrait of familial loss and separation. Kae wades through deep emotions surrounding the death of his father and the sudden relocation of his children, repurposing intimate family scenes from his personal archive by pairing them with online media from a variety of sources to explore how the autobiographical model can potentially extend beyond the personal.



"I Ran From It And Was Still In It" is simply an outstanding, consistent, sensitive and poetic portrait of a man. A man living in todays world, but carrying many histories of struggles and complexities when it comes to responsibilities, being a son, a man, a father, an example, an old man, black. It’s associative editing, the music, the swing, the found footage, it all feels very near, very related in a poetic way. There is only a few films that manage in only 11 minutes to transcend the viewer so close to these challenging emotions that belong to relationships, loss, memory, responsibility, to finally engage in new perspectives or new understandings of life, love and death…


The Night Award honours films, which are able to balance ambiguity and complexity characterized by enigmatic mysteriousness and subtleness, which keeps mind and consideration moving

BOOKANIMA : Andy Wharhol

Shon Kim
South Corea / 2019 / 0:04:48

BOOKANIMA, a compound word of ‘Book’ and ‘Anima’, is Experimental Animation project to give new cinematic life to book. It aims to create ‘Book Cinema’ in the third scope between Book and Cinema by Chronophotography Animation, paying homage for Edward Muybridge and Entienne Jules-Marey. BOOKANIMA experiments Chronophotography Animation about Andy Warhol.*




The "Night Award" was awarded to "BOOKANIMA : Andy Warhol" by Shon Kim because of its accomplishment in taking the ubiquitous and seemingly unalterable practice of reading and transposing it to the medium of animation. In this case, using a biography incorporating celebrated works by Pop Artist Andy Warhol, it shows flashes of a star-studded life that makes its subject, to mis-quote his own term, 'famous for five minutes'. The excitement comes from condensing the existing static book format then bringing it to life on screen, while re-wiring the way we absorb and interpret visuals and text.


Collage 25

Luis Carlos Rodriguez
Spain / 2020 / 0:06:00

The audiovisual language was born, grew and developed from artistic activity. Audiovisual language is and will be an artistic process that evolves from art and the hand of artist in its two main channels: experimental cinema and video art. We firmly believe that audiovisual language must continue to evolve from experimentation and artistic activity. We firmly believe that all creation is always a recreation. The public domain allows us to recreate and recount, again manipulating the time and space of the sequences, (especially those that became unforgettable for us at some point), and, from an audiovisual economy / ecology, move forward with new proposals in this constant process of evolution that must be the audiovisual language.




Painter, photographer and video artist, Luis Carlos Rodríguez García is also a professor at the University of Valladolid. “Collage 25” is part of a series he initiated in 2017 where each film consists of a montage of a reconstruction of sequences manipulating time and space of a known cinematographic work: from Coppola to Rudolph Maté or Orson Wells. His work in “Collage 25” about some sequences of “Carnival of Souls”, a cult film in black and white by Herk Harwey, from 1962, is particularly successful with regard to the desire of Luis Carlos to destroy the narration of the film in order to provoke in the viewer’s mind, by imagining multiple new narrations, especially emotional sensations. His demonstration proposes another conception of cinematographic art, which would be not only to tell stories but also to tickle the epidermal sensibility of the viewer. In the case of “Collage 25”, it is a matter of using an experimental montage to recreate a feeling of fear of a different nature from that felt by the viewer at the vision of the original work. Then, “Collage 25” becomes an exciting experience.


The Bellbird's Morning Song

Damon Mohl
USA / 2020 / 0:10.30

A geographical ghost story.




The "Jury Award For Transcending Ghostly Apparitions" went to" The Bellbird's Morning Song" by Damon Mohl. In just over ten minutes, the director succeeds in juxtaposing metaphor and symbolism: The images of a ghostly landscape as dawn breaks align with the subconscious mind through strange and disjointed sounds that build both in tandem with each other and with the images. The ghostly figure is dispersed through the other worldliness and, whether it is representing an intangible first person, ourselves, or an 'other', the enigma still remains intact come the end.