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I, Joana


Joana (39 years old) and her partner Ivo, a friend Teresa and a couple of friends Guilherme and Pedro prepare a great trip to Scotland, after a long period of deprivation. Joana finds out she's pregnant. She never wanted to be a mother. She’s not of the maternal style and this is known to all. Joana wants to interrupt, but Ivo wants to have the child. There is a dinner to discuss the trip to Scotland, but this is just the visible theme, because Joana's choice on motherhood is on everyone's mind. To accompany dinner, the Mundane Trinity is present, as always

Our Review

This short film alternates between different genres – part drama, part theatre, part feminist, part activist, part religious norms, part documentary, part meditation, part imaginative.

I, Joana is a great film as it consciously touches some of the big issues without any self-imposed limits. It is an enjoyable, well-made and informative film that deserves a wide audience.

As inspirational as it is, the film encourages female viewers young and old to establish “You Don’t Own Me", "I own myself".

It is well-written, well- directed, well- acted, well--produced.

Director Biography - Nuno Gonçalves i was born in Coimbra in 1976, on Halloween i live in Lisbon i'm a student of the course cinema/moving image at art school i'm a feminist and lgbti+ rights activist i'm a professor, researcher and innovation manager, but that doesn't matter here i did amateur theater and sang in several choirs i took an interior design course at lsd i was part of several volunteer projects i've traveled through the five continents but I don't know almost anything

Director Statement

(portuguese version at bottom) note on intention: this film is not about abortion. this film isn't even about the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. this film can perhaps be seen as a film about the woman's choice to be, or not to be, mother. however, this is, in fact, a film about the structural machismo of our society. the pressure for women to be mothers, as if the preservation of the species there depended on and, of course, the primacy of man's choice. as I said, the structural machismo that underlies a great number of problems in our present society, but also the result of the legacy of millennia of history that has brought us to the present and which have left us the issue of motherhood, domestic violence, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny to unite them all. some of these problems are addressed more or less deeply by this film, either lightly or even so. from an early age I was interested in these themes. not only because I was born in a middle-class family with 4 sons and 1 daughter, where motherhood was never questioned, although individual freedom has always been assured, generically speaking, but also because my homosexuality was latent until very late, preventing me from living fully. this trait of my personality finally broke out, and today licking the wounds of the years of (self)repression and continuous micro aggressions, I realize that it is the same structural machismo that continues to dig into the gender gap, this essentially cultural construction. also in my life as a feminist activist and LGBTIQ rights activist, with almost 15 years of involvement and volunteering, and in the last 5 years as leader of the ILGA Portugal Association, the oldest and largest association in Portugal in defense of the rights of lgbti people, I have had contact with the realities of many people victims of a prejudiced matrix, often in a situation of social emergency. fortunately, not only have I dealt with negative situations, but I have also had contact with countless opposing cases of empowered people, autonomous women, owners of their nose, and their uterus, gays and lesbians, people who are dusty and free of prejudice (or almost!), able to freely express not only their sexual orientation, but also their sexual and gender characteristics, trans people who have the courage to face the stigma still very strong and assert their gender identity and many other cases that do not fit here. and these examples of courage, which I have come across on a day-to-day basis, have taught me over the last few years that it is always necessary to fight for equality, freedom and also for fraternity, for the ideals that overthrew the old regime more than 230 years ago, but which have not yet been able to impose this much more equality that we need. this film is also a very personal perspective on the topic of the maternity option. and how women's rights should be respected in the option. it is a film that documents an evolution of people's mentality and that intends to instantiate in particular the evolution of the father, not as one who generates and the one who decides, but the one who supports the decision. and does so by giving an example of female empowerment. this film also does not underestimate the suffering that many mothers go through, much because of the moralistic (self-)judgment, but also not taking it for granted. this point is, moreover, critical in my analysis of the option of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. of the testimonies I have gathered of women who have one or more times made this decision, I have been told, I quote, "... I didn't feel any weight on my conscience. the greatest disorder was caused by pressure from society. I had to show myself more affected than I actually was, so that my family would not blame me for coldness, of being a rational person and without feelings..." "... it wasn't the voluntary abortions I did that made me feel bad, morally speaking, but it was miscarriage in a context where I had given in to the social pressure of 'ok... let's go have a child' that made me feel bad..." "... I never had the will to be a mother..." these testimonies, of two different women, both women settled and emancipated, made me realize how much still needs to be done in the defense of people's rights and in the need to fight moralistic judgments. I believe that my perspective as a gay, feminist and atheist man, accustomed to fighting the structural machismo of our society, brings a point of view of those who cannot, by biological barrier, feel, nor live, in the first person what these women feel. this view that seeks to deconstruct the traditional vision of a weak, weak and voted woman to the role of parent and, as opposed to, build a progressive vision of the strong woman, who owns her womb and destiny. a vision of a woman, of whom many men are afraid. ---------


  • Nuno Gonçalves Director After Mom

  • Nuno Gonçalves Writer

  • Carla Gomes Producer

  • Nuno Gonçalves Producer

  • Paula Moreira Key Cast "Joana"

  • Jorge Carvalheiro Key Cast "Ivo"

  • Carla Gomes Key Cast "Teresa"

  • Nuno Miguel Gonçalves Key Cast "Guilherme"

  • Manuel Gaspar Key Cast "Pedro"


  • Project Title (Original Language): Eu, Joana

  • Project Type: Short, Student

  • Runtime: 19 minutes 30 seconds

  • Completion Date: July 18, 2022

  • Production Budget: 1,500 EUR

  • Country of Origin: Portugal

  • Country of Filming: Portugal

  • Language: Portuguese

  • Shooting Format: Digital

  • Film Color: Color

  • First-time Filmmaker: Yes

  • Student Project: Yes - Arco, centro de artes

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