Lighting Fires

A single-shot long take on a young girl’s struggle to overcome society’s rules on education and pursue her real passion. Sofia is a 10 year old who draws houses differently from everyone else, breaking the boundaries of the stereotypical structure and painting them in her own creative way. Criticised by her brother for doing so, she grows into a resentful teenager who has always hidden her drawings and beliefs from everyone else. Later on, she realises her worth and opens up her own architectural studio as a 30 year old.

  • Maria Norton
  • Maria Norton
  • Maria Norton
  • Mariana Alçada
    Key Cast
    "Sofia's Friend"
  • Vasco Lopes
    Key Cast
    "Sofia's older brother (younger version)"
  • Teresa Barreto
    Key Cast
    "Teenage Sofia"
  • Luisa Alçada
    Key Cast
    "Young Sofia"
  • Mariana Norton
    Key Cast
    "Adult Sofia"
  • Manuel Paiva Raposo
    Key Cast
    "Sofia's older brother (adult version)"
  • Mariana Alçada
    Assistant Director
  • Inês Simões de Almeida
    Assistant Director
  • Guilherme Sá Fialho
    Assistant Director
  • Duarte Figueiredo
  • Joshua Sternlicht
  • Maria Norton
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Lighting Fires
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    12 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Portuguese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Escola Secundária Pedro Nunes
  • Prague International Film Festival
    Czech Republic
    May 18, 2021
    Best Short Film
  • Thessaloniki Free Short Festival
    August 29, 2021
    Best Student Short Film
  • New Jersey Film Awards
    New Jersey, New York State.
    United States
    September 1, 2021
    Finalist (High School Short Film Category)
  • Roma Short Film Festival
    September 2, 2021
    Finalist (Student Films Category)
  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival
    New York City, New York.
    United States
    September 7, 2021
    Finalist (Student Films Category)
  • London Indie Short Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 17, 2021
    Semi-Finalist (Narrative International Shorts Category)
  • Boston International Kids Film Festival
    United States
    November 19, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Hirpinia Film Festival
    November 24, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Vegas Movie Awards
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States
    October 6, 2021
    Semi-Finalist (Best Student Film Category)
  • Direct Monthly Online Film Festival

    United States
    July 1, 2021
    Best Covid-19 Film
Director Biography - Maria Norton

Maria is a Portuguese 18-year-old college student, who was born in Lisbon and lived for 14 years in Madrid, Spain. Her multicultural experiences awakened her interests on social issues such as the consequences of social media for teenagers, the setting of unrealistic beauty standards for young women, the diminishment of creativity in modern systems of education and the promotion of a sustainable development, among others. This lit up her passion in cinema as she believes it is the ideal art form to raise awareness to these topics. Maria uses short films and videos to educate herself and the world around her on these matters and their importance and urgency, while also delivering a cinematic experience through the use of innovative film techniques that fit into each of her film’s message, such as the use of long takes or specific framing and composition approaches. Maria considers filmmaking and production the best pursuits for her, since they merge all of her passions, such as economics, arts and social concerns. She aspires to become an agent of change through her filmmaking style, perspective, form and storytelling.

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