Private Project

The Swap

Set in a dystopian future, a feeble worker is faced with the unexpected birth of twins, now he only has one hour left to find two volunteers who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that his children can live.

  • João Delgado Lourenço
    Key Cast
  • Tiago Ribeiro
    Key Cast
    "Government Employee"
  • Gabriela Melo
    Key Cast
    "TV News Anchor"
  • Rui Madureira
    Key Cast
  • Pedro M. Afonso
    A Dança (2017), Tempo (2019), Estática (TBD)
  • Pedro M. Afonso
    A Dança (2017), Tempo (2019), Estática (TBD)
  • Sebastião Guimarães
    Assistant Director
  • Miguel Martins
  • Daniel Marques
    Director of Photography
    Estática (TBD)
  • Pedro Caires
    Sound Director
  • Nara Moreira
    Art Director
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Troca por Troca
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 25 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - ESMAD (P.Porto)
Director Biography - Pedro M. Afonso

Pedro M. Afonso is a Portuguese visual artist on the verge on finishing his Bachelor in Audiovisual Communication Technologies at Escola Superior de Media Artes e Design in Porto. Born in Braga, the director showed since an early age a great passion for Cinema, having also a a solid background in Academic Research in the fields of Image, Semiotics and Sound, which allowed him to gather an array of essential resources for the Cinematic Practice.
He directed the short-film “The Dance” in 2017 and is currently working in post-production for his latest short-film “Static”. Founding member of ORCA (Robots, Computers and Speakers Orchestra), Pedro has been a part of several academic conferences and showcases, having several publications in the Audiovisual field, specially his article “Fritz Lang: o Mundo pelo monóculo do Modernismo” and his photobook “Especialidade: Burnout”.
Albeit his short career, he has already Industry experience as Assistant Director for the upcoming Feature Film “A Vida Fantástica de Sofia”, by José Alberto Pinheiro, and has also taken part of several commissioned projects.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The conditions for the existence of the human being, since its genesis, come up against the limited time available for living. Death is, in the first glance, the ultimate fear and destiny of every living being. It will not be surprising that we all spend a large part of our lives creating mechanisms that allow us to survive or even to leave a legacy that challenges the eternal rest. What if it was possible to avoid Death? How would a species be motivated whose biological purpose (like all other species) is to breed and have offsprings? Furthermore, how would the human race be organized in a future where the great engine of human action and survival had disappeared?
Much of the work developed during my artistic practice is about Death and its web of influences in Contemporary Society. All this restlessness created by the inevitability leads me to an obsessive and unrestrained search to unravel the intricacies where Death walks, the trail it leaves and forces me to face the difficulty in accepting ephemerality. During a common search for literary works on the subject, I came across a rather obscure tale by the writer Kurt Vonnegut, called “2 B R 0 2 B”. Without great expectations, I started reading and analyzing it. The result could not have been more positive. An “Eureka” moment: what if death and illness did not exist? What if, in a future with the countless possibilities that now present itself, we could simply live forever without the worry of a black spectrum wielding scythe haunting us?
It's in this context that the idea behind the short-film "The Swap” arises. Entertaining an apparently absurd idea, new questions arose and fed the concept: how would the species be renewed? What does a future look like where one of the biggest biological motivators has been eradicated? How would a society be organized without fear of a common fate? And, suddenly, it became easy to understand the influence that Death has on the structure of Humanity, the never-ceasing search for its suppression while assuming itself as one of the most important psychological drivers for the prosperity of a species that shapes the World to its own will.
Created in an Academic context, the challenges that arose for the realization of a film, in its genesis, were fantastical. The definition of a retro approach and with strong authoritarian influences appears as a mirror of a contemporaneity where nostalgia is assumed as a defining characteristic, even for the wrong reasons.
Using a myriad of references from the various fields of artistic practice, from literature, with names at the head like José Saramago and Franz Kafka, through design, with Russian Constructivism as a strong influence, and ending in Cinema, with works like “1984” , “Children of Men” and “Blade Runner”, the project was gaining shape and strength for its conception.
As in most of the works that I have been developing, the film assumes itself as a reflection on Death, but this time, through its “antagonist”: Life. Questioning the value of Life, the "price" of it and the barbarities to which the Human Being is able to subject himself to trick Death, "The Swap" intends to raise some questions and create discussion in a Society dedicated to hide the greatest certainty that a Human Being can have.