João Nicolau was born in Lisbon and studied anthropology. He’s a film director, editor, actor and musician. As an editor, he worked with João César Monteiro, Margarida Gil, Alessandro Comodin and Miguel Gomes. In 1999 he shot the documentary Calado não dá, set on the island of Santiago in Cape Verde; Rapace (Bird of Prey), presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires and at the Viennale, is his first fiction short film starring a boy whose life is shaken by a beautiful young translator.
In 2009 he directed the short film Canção de amor e saúde (Song of Love and Health), also selected at Cannes for the Quinzaine des réalisateurs. In 2010 he finished his first feature film, A espada e a rosa (The Sword and The Rose), screened at the Venice Film Festival in the Orizzonti section, in San Paulo and Buenos Aires, the film tells the story of a young Lisbonese obsessed with order who decides to embark on a 15th century Portuguese caravel and live according to piracy codes. In 2012 came the short film O dom das lágrimas (The Gift of Tears), an iconographic journey immersed in Lusitanian imagery. In 2013 he returned to Cannes with Gambozinos (A Wild Goose Chase), a short story about the experience of a ten year old boy at summer camp.
Presented in Seville, Turin, Belfort and San Paolo, his second feature John From (2015), is a brilliant and somewhat outlandish comedy that revolves around the character of Rita, a teenager discovering the world, and her love fantasies.
His latest work, Technoboss (2019), premiered at the Locarno film festival. The protagonist, Luís Rovisco, is a safety device technician; as retirement approaches, he understands more and more the futility of the time spent at work and gives in to what makes him feel alive instead: music, dancing and the taste of youth.
In collaboration with Agência – Portuguese Short Film Agency and with O Som and a Fúria.
With the patronage of Consolato del Portogallo di Milano.