Joao Paulo Simoes
Born in 1976 to Angolan parents, Portuguese Filmmaker João Paulo Simões developed from an early age an interest in the visual arts, impressing teachers and artists alike with his drawing skills. The taste for painting, photography and comic book art was eventually combined with the passion for Literature – whether in the shape of ambitious novels, short stories or evocative poems. The different mediums were gradually fine-tuned to form a very personal view of the world. Up to the point that music came into play and everything developed till then was entirely directed to a single form of expression.
In the early 90’s, concept and performance come together in the shape of cult rock band Freud’s Groin . The project was to come to an end only a few years later, but the experience – which involved not just song-writing and live performance, but also very cerebral work in recording studios – would prove to be crucial in defining the direction to take.
Cinema, the source of so many emotions, that was always very much present, was to become the key-language in João Paulo Simões’s art. Its totalitarian quality appealed to him as much as the perfectionism he sees as crucial to follow an idea or subject through.
Having trained mainly as an Editor, once finished the film course at Sheffield Hallam University he developed a challenging project that was to be his first official outing as a Writer/Director: the short film Imogen Meets The Merchant (2001).
A second 43-minute film then followed. Overture (2002) was the first digital film in the slate of projects to come. In part a necessity due to a low budget, but also a clear decision to experiment with digital technology.
A few professional misfortunes lead João Paulo Simões to embrace the opportunity of making a film in his hometown of Lisbon, once Portuguese Producer Pedro Molar agreed to collaborate on a project.
Under the banner of Captüra Filmes, Torpor (2003) was made on a shoestring budget, with black & white digital cinematography embellished by a poetic narrative and a lavish score and sound design.
Simultaneous work with a second music project named The Ultimate Architects ensued, in a brief hiatus from filmmaking due to health problems.
Once back in England, a new project entered pre-production. Duchess, Duchess (2004) is an old-fashioned tale of retrospective jealousy leading to inevitable infidelity.
João Paulo Simões has also made recently the feature Ausências de Espírito (2005) and is currently working on Antlers of Reason , an erotic mystery tale, which is now in Post-Production. (2006).
Joao Paulo Simoes participates in
Title: Take.This.Turn, 2005, 3: 40