In Our Care. The Keeper's Choice.

Nine security guards from the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga invite visitors and the general public to appreciate works of their choice from the permanent exhibition, in a presentation that crosses art, everyday life and biography. Each episode is a documentary narrated in the first person, lasting between 10 and 20 minutes, reflecting different themes evoked by the personalities, experiences and opinions of the protagonists.

  • Álvaro Costa
    Key Cast
  • António Machado
    Key Cast
  • Carla Pereira
    Key Cast
  • Dulce Gonzaga
    Key Cast
  • Jeanine Baptista
    Key Cast
  • Paulo Almeida
    Key Cast
  • Paulo Pinheiro
    Key Cast
  • Paulo Pires
    Key Cast
  • Pedro Miranda
    Key Cast
  • João Estrada
    Production, Directing & Editing
  • Bárbara Sales
    Cinematography & Colour Grading
  • Diogo Caetano
    Sound & Music
  • Anísio Franco
  • Joaquim Caetano
  • Adelaide Lopes
    Coordination Support
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    À Nossa Guarda. A Escolha de Quem Cuida.
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 59 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 13, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga - European Night of Museums 2022
    May 14, 2022
    1st Episode Premiere
  • MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga - European Night of Museums 2023
    May 13, 2023
    Last episode Premiere
  • Prémios APOM 2023 / APOM Awards 2023
    May 26, 2023
    Best Project and Digital Content
Director Biography

João Estrada was born in Coimbra, Portugal, in 1994. He works as a director and an editor, creating content for cinema, television and for institutions. Graduated from the Lisbon Film School in 2016, he directed the films “Alfred, the Corpse” (2013), “BUNKER or Tales I Heard When the World Fell” (2020), the web series “Bringing to Light” (2021) and “In Our Care” (2022-23), among other works.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As the title indicates, each episode of “In Our Care. The Keeper’s Choice” showcases a narrative driven by a first-person testimony from nine of MNAA’s employees who work in the Museum daily surveillance.

It is a project that aims to divulge and value art and those who everyday ensure its safety and the contact between visitors and museum collections.

The role of a museum guard stands in a crossroad between surveillance and costumer service, a strange duplicity that requires a balance between high-contrast scenarios - large crowds of visitors are opposed to long hours of emptiness and monotony, during which they are left with the company of the art pieces they guard. There is an emotional weight attached to this contrast; how do different people deal with this routine and how does the art all around them affect the passing of the days?

Several questions drove our production process:

What interactions are born from meeting visitors from all around the world? How does each one deal with the slow passing of time and with the peculiar scenario of an art museum? Do the pieces from the collection help them going through the long hours? Are those artworks companions that stir their imagination? Which contact is more enriching - the visitors or the works of art? Before being museum watchers, were they visitors themselves? What journey brought them there?

The project took off with an invitation from MNAA to all the surveillance team, with nine guards voluntarily stepping in and choosing their favourite pieces from the collection. After that, all participants took their approach making the research: for some, the everyday observation has already built a vast knowledge about the chosen piece; others have known it since they were children, when they visited the museum for the first time as visitors. Some opted for a more spontaneous route, talking about the feelings evoked by the artwork, and some made deep research within the museum bibliography.

Interviewed by the production team, they then shared stories, experiences, opinions and the outcome of the dialogue with each chosen piece, offering us precious testimonies that helped shape the structure of each episode. Then, for months, they hospitably allowed our cameras to follow their daily work routine.

Above everything else, “In Our Care” is a filmographic document about the purest forms of enjoying art, through casual, sensorial and deep personal appreciations. What makes each of these people, who look at these pieces every day, maintain such everlasting esteem about those paintings, sculptures and ceramic pieces?

Through our series, we want to share the many answers we got to that question.