A young woman, disturbed by her mother's death, goes through the mourning process, seeking refuge in the study and observation of funeral rites. As grief and acceptance of death permeate her inner universe, she finds herself.


Film Director

“Palma” emerges from a personal desire to establish a dialogue about death and mourning, the unconscious and the unspeakable. Walking alongside the main character, Sara, we see the individual process of grief, loss and how this character deals with the emptiness left by her mother’s death.

Through the protagonist’s initiation path, different levels of approach to the theme are introduced: spirituality served by esoterism, Christian rites of relationship with death contaminated by older pagan traditions.

I wanted to revive the universe of these ancestral rituals that have since been lost and which refer to an almost surreal dimension, because of their singularity: people spend the night on the floor in the deceased’s house, looking like lifeless figures; when preparing for the funeral, they speak directly to the deceased as if they were alive.

The surrealism of “Palma” is a narrative choice that is connected with a way of looking at art as an object of questioning reality. Through metaphors, the surreal aspects surprise viewers by bringing together two worlds, the real and the unreal. A metaphor is formed, which leads to rethinking reality itself.
The hands stand out as an aesthetic and narrative theme. We see Sara going through her grief, looking for answers through palmistry or hand reading. During this inner process, there is a sense of her own mortality that Sara seeks to obliterate by wearing gloves or by scraping her palm.

Despite the painful and lugubrious atmosphere, “Palma” also reveals the unusual and even tragico-comical side of death with the introduction of the mourners. An occupation, now extinct, in which the interveners were paid to mourn. This staged moment is a satirization of this rite, in which an exaggerated distinction, made through death and not life, is revealed through the glorification of the deceased.

The presence of Entrudo (pagan monsters in the forest) and its profane manifestations within the popular imagination enhance Sara’s fear, but there is also something liberating here, which continues with her running at the beach and then the revelation of her hand in the library.

In “Palma” there is a rite of passage as we can see in the last shot, in which Sara observes the palm of her hand and everything that contains it, light and darkness.

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  • French Academy Awards

    Nominated for the Césars Awards, France, 2020

  • Greenwich Village Film Festival

    Best Short Animation Award, USA, 2019

  • Palm Springs International ShortFest

    Audience Award, USA, 2019

  • ADF – Autores de Fotografía Cinematográfica

    Best Photography, Argentina, 2019

  • Flickerfest - international Short Film Festivalm

    SAE Creative Media Institute Award for Best use of Digital Technology in a Short Film, Australia, 2019

  • Portuguese Cinema Academy

    Sophia Awards, Best Short Film Animation, Portugal, 2019

  • Monstra Festival - Portuguese Competition SPAutores

    Audience Award - Portuguese Competition, Portugal, 2019

  • As iFF Spring, USA

    Best Cinematography, Best Animation, Best Score, USA, 2019

  • LIsFE - Leiden International Short Film Experience

    General Award, Netherlands, 2019

  • Fastnet Film Festival

    Best Original Music, Best Cinematography, Ireland, 2019

  • Festival Stop Motion Montreal

    Best Independent Film, Canada, 2019

  • KuanDu International Animation Festival

    Best Original Score, Taiwan, 2019

  • Animafest - World Festival of Animated Films Zagreb

    Audience Award, Croatia, 2018

  • Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival

    Public Award, Portugal, 2018

  • Hiroshima International Animation Festival

    Special Jury Prize, Japan, 2018

  • Montpellier International Festival of Mediterranean Film

    Young Jury Award, France, 2018

  • Caminhos do Cinema Português

    Best Animation Award, Honourable Mention From the Press, Portugal, 2018

Cast: Sara Mafalda Banquart, Father Paulo Calatré, Nicolau Vasco Temudo, D. Olinda Arlete dos Santos, Madalena Sara Costa, Mourner Patrícia Queirós
Director And Screenwriter: Mónica Santos
Director Of Photography: Manuel Pinto Barros
Art Direction: Carina Gaspar
Art Assistant: Ana Meleiro
Makeup And Hair: Francisca Sobral
Assistants: Miguel Teixeira, Maria Simões, Catarina Nogueira
Fictional Tailors: Letícia Santos
First Assistant Director: Maria João Matos Silva
Continuity / Back-up: Rita Ramo
Sound Director: Luís Silveira
First Image Assistant: Tiago Faria
Image Intern: Ricardo Lúcio
Gaffer: Jacobo Martinez
Head Key Grip: Marco De Oliveira
Key Grip: Mário Sousa
Production Manager: Teresa Amaral
Production Coordinator: Alexandre Maurício
Assistant Production Manager: João Santana
Production Secretary: Ana Balbi
Production Assistant Z: Adelaide Megre
Post-production Coordinator: Carlos Madaleno
Finalization Producer: Alexandre Maurício
Editing: Pedro Magano
Additional Editing: Rita Pestana
Assistant Editing: Maria Eiriz, Madalena Alpoim
Sound Design: Gernot Fuhrmann
Foleys Artist: Peter Burgis, Franziska Treutler
Editing: Maxwell Macrae
Assistant Editing: Khira Li Lindemann
Mix: Albrecht Ihlenburg
Special Effects: Jorge Carvalho
Graphic Design: Mónica Santos
Colour Correction: Marco Amaral
Foleys Studio: Foley Farmers
Colour Correction Studio: The Yellow Color
Translation – English: Sara David Lopes
Original Soundtrack: Pedro Marques
Budget And Expenses Control: Luís Jorge
Institutional Relations: Sandra Paulo
Promotion: Ana Manana
Project Development Assistant: Martim Baginha Cardoso
Accounting: Paula Morais
Produced By: Pandora Da Cunha Telles, Pablo Iraola, Ukbar Filmes
With The Financial Support Of: ICA – Institute Of Cinema And Audiovisual / Portugal’s Ministry Of Culture, RTP – Portuguese Public National Broadcast Service

Art direction and costume design

Process, objects and sets