Writer / Director
Simão Cayatte is a Portuguese/Finnish writer/director and actor. He studied theatre at Goldsmiths University London and got his masters in film at Columbia University in New York City. His short film A Viagem premiered at the Cinéfondation 2011 Cannes Film Festival and won several awards. His short Miami was nominated for a Portuguese Academy Award and a Mélies D’Or. Recently his short Menina has been playing in festivals worldwide. His first feature film Sandra with Ukbar Filmes won the 2016 ICA national financing fund for first feature film.
Sandra is a dramatic character-driven film that tells the story of a single mother and young actress who gets separated from her only son after suffering a psychotic episode. Her own mother Luisa decides to keep custody of the boy as she sees Sandra as unfit to be her guardian. Sandra is thrown into a spiral-like struggle against Luisa, the court system and her family to have her son back, all the while fighting her own doubts under intense medication. The story takes place in suburban Lisbon and is inspired by events that happened to someone dear to me during the recent years of the economic crisis. Watching the degradation of a woman’s relationship with her son, her family and her social surroundings in these circumstances changed me profoundly as a person and it suddenly became urgent to write this story. The project was written specifically with a low budget in mind and had since won the yearly national funding for first feature film from ICA, comprising over half the budget.