Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies screens short film ‘Mar’

The Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies program at York University will screen the short film Mar and host a Q-and-A with the film’s director, Luso-Canadian William Vitória, on Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. in the Nat Taylor Cinema.


Mar (the sea) focuses on “saudade,” a feeling of longing and nostalgia for Portugal, which many people who are far from their country feel, while also portraying the story of a homosexual couple, and how each person deals with complicated situations.

When a couple decide to spend their summer vacation in a small town on the coast of Portugal, they have no idea they will face a dark mystery that will lead to seduction and betrayal.

Mar is a dramatic love story and thriller set in the beautiful coastal town of Peniche, Portugal. Its main characters, Xavier (Lourenço Seruya) and Eduardo (João Santos Silva), visit a childhood friend, Cristóvão (Diogo Tavares), who carries a dark secret that only his mother (Sylvie Rocha) knows. Sexual tensions rise until the shocking secret is revealed, but only after someone’s fate is sealed.

The film’s director, William Vitória, lived in Portugal for some of his youth, and he spent much of his time by the sea. For this film, he wanted to capture the breathtaking scenery of the coast juxtaposed by images inspired by his fascination for the macabre. Mar also presented a unique opportunity for Vitória to pull from his own experiences and inject some of his personality into each of his characters.

Mar won an Award of Distinction from the Canada Shorts Film Festival in 2017 and was selected at the Rio Gender and Sexuality Film Festival 2018 in Rio de Janeiro and more recently at the YofiFest Film Festival 2018 in Yonkers, N.Y. But the first public screening happened in Lisbon at the Cinemateca Portuguesa, after which it played in other cities in Portugal, the U.S., Spain, Guatemala and Panama. The LGBTQ community has embraced this film, and the director was invited to travel and be part of pride celebrations around the world.

This year, Vitória received a tribute at the Portuguese Brazilian Awards in the U.S. and directed a new short film, again in his homeland of Portugal, called Behind Doors, which is expected to be released in the coming months.

For more information regarding the film and Vitória, visit marbywilliamvitoria.com.