63rd TIFF: Greek Premiere

On his deathbed, his royal highness Alfredo, a king without a crown, reminisces about his youth and the time when he dreamed of becoming an “ordinary” fireman. The encounter with instructor Afonso, a young black man/dancer from the fire brigade, opens a new chapter in the lives of the two young men, who dive deep into love and desire with the will to change the status quo. One of the most idiosyncratic directors of our time revisits the musical comedy genre only to experiment with its limits. João Pedro Rodrigues embraces social and cinematographic stereotypes and twists them in new directions. The result is a fresh and witty film, full of love, both romantic and physical, music, and theatre.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: João Pedro Rodrigues
Script: João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata, Paulo Lopes Graça
Cinematography: Rui Poças
Editing: Mariana Gaivão
Sound: Nuno Carvalho
Actors: Mauro Costa, André Cabral, Joel Branco, Oceano Cruz, Margarida Vila-Nova
Production: House on Fire, Terratreme, Filmes Fantasma
Producers: Vincent Wang, João Matos, João Pedro Rodrigues
Costumes: Patrícia Dória
Production Design: João Rui Guerra da Mata
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: France, Portugal
Production Year: 2022
Duration: 67΄
Contact: Films Boutique
Awards/Distinctions: Directors’ Week Award – Brussels IFF 2022

João Pedro Rodrigues

João Pedro Rodrigues is an internationally renowned Portuguese filmmaker. When he was eight years old, his father gave him a pair of binoculars and he decided to become an ornithologist. He always travels with his binoculars, to foray into nature and watch birds. His work explores gender and human desire in all its guises – and disguises – reflecting the multifarious history of film, from classical genre to documentary and experimental film. His films premiered and won prizes at the world’s foremost film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Toronto, and Berlin. In 2016, the Pompidou Centre in Paris honored Rodrigues and his partner, João Rui Guerra da Mata, with a complete retrospective and installation exhibition.


1988 O Pastor (short)
1997 Happy Birthday! (short)
1998 A Trip to the Expo (doc)
2000 Phantom
2005 Two Drifters
2007 China China (short)
2009 To Die Like a Man
2012 The Last Time I Saw Macao
2016 The Ornithologist
2022 Will-o'-the-Wisp