A human resources rep calls Zé and his coworkers in one by one: their beloved factory, situated on the outskirts of Lisbon, is going to close. The loyal workers are in danger of being played out against each other cleverly from above, with generous buyouts. The determined stayers, however, decide to occupy their workplace; their resistance against big industry has started. The pressure leads to a general breakdown of the workers along the collapse of the world around them. The Nothing Factory is at the same time an invitation to rethink the role of human work in a time where crisis became the dominant form of government, a hymn to collective impotence and a pitiable musical.
The film programme for SIFA 2018, curated by the Asian Film Archive, features an international selection of exceptional new works celebrating independent voices across the world. From the adversity of fictive or real-life icons to the positions of the marginalised, the constellation of films hopes to respond to the general sentiment of the festival programming with ideas revolving around the notion of resistance and the experience of the individual.
Continuing the trend from past SIFA film programmes, this individualism can also be experienced and translated on screen through the singular visions embodied by the filmmakers. Valuing the ingenious and the risk-taking in cinema, Singular Screens hopes not only to be diverse in representation but bold in putting together its palette of cinematic adventures. Whether as illustrations of resilience, peculiarity or the extraordinary, the films and their characters will continue to project imagined futures and aspire for alternate possibilities amid larger circumstances.