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"Through the seas of memory - tales of a great labour..."_v60

Directed by Rui Bela, screenplay written by Senos da Fonseca, and with the contribution of some of the last “heroes” of this saga, it results from a High Definition video project, with an odd singularity both in Portugal and internationally, since it emphasises the art of fishing over five centuries of history performed by the Portuguese, Basques, Spaniards, French and English. The project is the result of a deep investigation, commitment in the selection and organisation of all the contents. This film does not intend to embrace everything the theme would provide. However, it tries to be as comprehensive as possible, in a historical perspective, highlighting the most relevant facts to the whole team, in an unpatented approach so far. “Through the seas of memory – tales of great labour…” is one of the most honest contributions to the preservation of History and memories of the greatest labour of the Portuguese sea, Cod Fishing. It systematises written, photographic and cinematographic information, turning the stories into a timeless audio-visual document.

  • Rui Alberto Ribeiro Bela
  • Senos da Fonseca
  • ONDA VÍDEO - Audiovisuais, Lda
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    "nos mares da memória - estórias de uma faina maior..."
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    59 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, Portugal
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Figueira Film Art
    Figueira da Foz
    September 3, 2016
    Official Selection.
  • Barcelona Planet Film Festival
    February 5, 2017
    Award Winner
  • Canada's World International Film Festival
    February 28, 2017
    Official Selection.
  • Move Me Productions' Quarterly Online Short Film Festival
    April 9, 2017
    Official Selection.
  • Sweet as Film Festival

    February 28, 2017
    Official Selection.
    April 19, 2017
    Official Selection.
  • Short To The Point
    April 19, 2017
    Official Selection.
  • Yes Lets Make a Movie Film Festival 2017
    June 4, 2017
    Official Selection.
    September 15, 2017
    Award Winner
    United States
    July 23, 2017
    Award Winner
Director Biography - Rui Alberto Ribeiro Bela

Rui Bela was born in Ílhavo - Aveiro. Throughout his professional life he has worked in television direction and production and as a hobby, maritime issues.
Long before he dedicated himself to image as a way of life, twenty-seven years ago, he made documentaries on fishing line, with the poor equipment of that time, such as “À Glória desta Faina”, which originated the creation of a specific sector of cod at Ílhavo Maritime Museum.
Journalist, director and entrepreneur, he has maintained a valuable collection of audiovisual memories on cod fishing, Ria the Aveiro and lagoon areas, what shows his concern with the surrounding environment. About forty years ago, he created the project “rialidades” (www.facebook.com/rialidades). Since then, he has been promoting several cultural initiatives to disseminate the area of the lagoon from Mira to Ovar. Book edition, photo exhibitions, as well as several thematic documentaries, are some of the activities to which he has been committed.
Like father like son! Cod fishing kept up with him through his father and grand-father who made this art, their lives. That is why he dreamed of creating a documentary which would be a reference in this matter. And his dream was fulfilled by making “through the seas of memory – tales of a great labour…”. Knowing that videographically, this theme had not been properly treated yet, Rui Bela hopes to stimulate the interest and revive experiences of this labour, definitely one of the greatest Portuguese deeds, by preserving the audio-visual memories of those brave men, and by disseminating in the civil society the stories those sea men have to tell. In this documentary, he gathered the best pictures and films that clearly mirror the sorrows and glories of the fishermen.

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Director Statement

If Portugal had to list some of its glorious achievements, the discovery of Newfoundland and Greenland, as well as cod fishing in the 15 th century, would definitely be two of them.
Over five centuries of History, the Portuguese had considerable breakthroughs in the art of navigation and fishing. They were the first settlers of those remote lands and still today, in spite of having left a long time ago, their influence remain in the local culture.
Remarkable in innovation and naval construction, the Portuguese, considered the best sailors, had one of the world’s largest fishing fleets but only five ships remain: “Creoula”, “Santa Maria Manuela”, “Argus”, “Santo André” and “Gil Eannes”.
The few who have dedicated their lives to cod fishing have seen their memories fade away with time. There are few testimonies of these lives of sacrifice and dedication.
I hope “through the seas of memory” is an encouragement so that new projects will come up in the cities where the sea and the Codfish are, by tradition, a live memory to preserve.