Fernando (by Paul Hamy), a solitary ornithologist, is looking for endangered black storks along a remote river in northern Portugal, when he is swept away by the river stream. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrim girls on their way to Santiago de Compostela, he plunges into a dark, eerie forest, trying to get back on track. But as he encounters unexpected and uncanny obstacles and people who put him to the test, Fernando is driven to extreme, transformative actions. The Ornithologist is the director’s personal revisitation of Saint Anthony’s life, in a surreal journey across Portugal’s remotest areas and popular mythology.
Locarno International Film Festival - Best Director