Casa do Xisto and Porto/Post/Doc are starting a partnership that will kick off in September with two 16mm Immersive Labs entirely dedicated to Eco-Processing, led by Ricardo Leite, with the assistance of Juliana Julieta.
We are delighted to invite everyone interested to come and watch the results of the 16mm Lab films which kicks off on 10 September, on Saturday 16 September. We’ll have a public screening in the garden cinema of Casa do Xisto and a lovely party.

To confirm your presence, you can send an email to and you’ll receive more information on how to reach us.
Save the date of 23 September for the public screening of the films from the two 16mm Immersive Labs in Porto. We’ll give you more information about the programme and the venue very soon.

The Immersive 16mm  Lab will give participants the opportunity to learn about traditional 16mm filming techniques, reversible to nuclei and black and white, while collaborative creation in an immersive process, during six days, taking advantage of the stay in the rural context of Casa do Xisto, located in the village of Macieira de Rates, in Barcelos.

Participants will learn the process of developing film by hand, working with a vertical editing system to complete a print ready for projection.

They will explore experimental ways of making special effects and other techniques related to the world of 16mm filmmaking, through the instructions of two dedicated professionals, with extensive experience in the filming and development process on film, who are dedicated to the preservation of the cinematographic arts.

The workshop will be led by Steve Cossman , founder and director of MONO NO AWARE, a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY, whose mission is to create a community of filmmakers, artists and amateurs with a passion for cinema and its possibilities. With more than fifteen years of experience, more than sixty workshops held, with more than a thousand international artists involved, promote education, through the teaching of courses in traditional cinema practices, Super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm. It is an internationally recognized organization, the films produced in the workshops have already been screened at dozens of international film festivals, and are recognized for their work and dedication by the NYTimes, BBC World, ViceTv, among others.

The other instructor will be Ricardo Leite , one of the founding partners of Átomo47 project, the only independent film laboratory in Portugal, which opened in 2007. Having worked mainly in the experimental genre and in film, he is the original creator of an innovative technique entitled “A Alquimia do Cinema” that will be addressed during the course.

During the six days, the participants will use plants from the “Horta Cinematográfica” (Cinema Garden) in the garden of the Casa do Xisto and its surroundings for the development of the film. The alchemical component of the process will be evident: for the developer we will use coffee, vitamin C and sodium bicarbonate, for the remaining components we will use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar or acetic acid or, alternatively, lemon juice to obtain citric acid. During the process various techniques may be used that will be explained, such as the possible use of different developers on the same image, for example, creating a negative image with a coffee developer and then positioning it with a mint developer, in order to obtain different shades, amongst other techniques and possibilities that will be offered.

The workshop will have a limit of ten participants and a duration of six days, from 7 to 12 July 2023, with the final result of ten short films with a free theme made in collaboration. The public screening of the films will be done in partnership with the Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival 2023, which offers all participants accreditation to enjoy the festival. It becomes a unique opportunity for emerging or experienced filmmakers, visual artists, amateurs or passionate about cinema to learn the different techniques of developing and filming in 16mm, in a rural context, in a collaborative way.

Internationally, through MONO NO AWARE, the films made at the workshop will circulate through the network of contacts that the organization has consolidated, such as Anthology Film Archives in New York, among other international film festivals. MONO NO AWARE‘s own Vimeo platform has a significant reach that becomes interesting for the promotion and dissemination of works produced during the Laboratory.

To apply, send us a motivation letter and CV or website. Results will be released on 5 June 2023.

The selected participants pay a 450€ -750€ fee – flexible scale – pay what you can afford. The fee includes food, accommodation, the two instructors, all filming equipment and film, public screening of the films and accreditation to the Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival 2023 . In an effort to make the workshops more accessible to the community at large, despite inflation and rising raw material prices, we have introduced a sliding scale option (below) . All options are equal to one registration and your selection will remain private.

Eco Processing

The teaser for Xisto Films was developed using coffee


The residency opened in September 2021 with the 16mm Immersive Laboratory, lasted six days, from 20 to 25 of September 2021, directed by Steve Cossman, founder and director of MONO NO AWARE, and Ricardo Leite, original creator of an innovative technique entitled “The Alchemy of Cinema”, which uses biodegradable products for film development. For this last technique, a small vegetable garden was created in the garden of Casa do Xisto, where the participants planted mint, peppermint, fennel and thyme, all plants with potential for development, the idea is that they will last for the next participants and future editions, being taken care of and used for the development of the film during the workshop.

The 16mm Immersive Lab had nine participants, selected through an open call, from different places, from Los Angeles, in the United States, Romania to Portugal: Lisbon, Trás-os-Montes, Porto, Viseu and locally, neighboring villages Barcelos municipality. With the final result of eighteen short films with a free theme influenced by nature and the region where the initiative is located. Nine black and white films, with a developer based on coffee, caffenol, guided by Ricardo Leite, and nine colour films, Ektachrome by Kodak, developed using the traditional process that uses tetenal chemical developer, guided by Steve Cossman of MONO NO AWARE, NY. 

The films were shown primarily at Casa do Xisto for participants, guests and friends, open to neighbors, residents of the village of Macieira de Rates. We received a visit from the artists and director of Doc’s Kingdom, Nuno Lisboa, who in the end invited a participating artist, Juliana Julieta, from the neighboring village of Courel, to do the Naomi Uman workshop, also in 16mm during the artist residency at Doc’s Kingdom

Filmes do Xisto opened Doc’s Kingdom 2021, on October 1st in Arcos de Valdevez, on the program “A Vez do Cinema”. They were also presented at Porto Post Doc 2021, at Industry Screenings. 

The initiative has the financial support of the Instituto de Cinema e Audiovisual Português – ICA, the Municipality of Barcelos, Kodak and has MONO NO AWARE as an international partner.


This edition that took place from July 6th to 11th 2022, was supported by the Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival 2023, the films made during the laboratory were screened at A Solar – Galeria de Arte Cinemática on July 11th 2023.

The second edition of the 16mm Immersive Lab had twelve participants from different countries: Brazil, the United States, France, Spain, São Miguel Island in the Azores, and different cities from north to south of the country, and two local participants – scholarship holders of Barcelos City Hall.



Marta Simões
Sara Gouveia
Mar Navarro
Joana Lourenço
Marie Fages
João Ramos
Emma Pennrose
Zack Shorrosh
Ian Capillé
Sofia Pires
Ana Sofia
Sandro Gomes



Juliana Julieta

About the first edition of Casa do Xisto

“The 16mm Lab was a unique, intense and communal creative experience for me, located on the welcoming North Green.

In this course I had the opportunity to initiate myself in the techniques of 16mm cinema, from its hardware, to the development processes (with ecological alternatives) and an experimental and free creative vision of this medium. Having come from another artistic language, Painting, in this 16mm workshop I discovered a vast territory to explore.

Besides the tutors and the fantastic colleagues with whom I shared this experience, I could also establish dialogue and work bridges with other creators from different cultural areas.

Following the laboratory, I was also invited to participate in the “Doc’s Kingdom” edition of that year, where we presented the “Films of Schist” and where I found myself in another community of film lovers, where I also had a second approach to 16mm in the workshop with the artist/director Naomi Uman.

Since then, the seed never stopped germinating and resulted in the opportunity to do a residency in NY, at Mono No Aware, an institution created/directed by one of the lab16mm tutors, Steve Cossman.

With or without any experience in the techniques of cinema or photography, the only prerequisite to participate in this lab16mm is the love for this art, which, combined with the knowledge acquired here, will potentiate unlimited possibilities.”

Cosmin Nicoara


“The time spent at Casa do Xisto came at a perfect time. The team and tutors were all so enthusiastic, it was an amazing vibe. Photographing and developing a film was a tiring experience, but the tired eyes at the end of it all are the best sign of an unforgettable learning experience. Thank you Casa do Xisto for all of this.”

Paulo Carneiro


“Work in cinema is a summary for friendship, discussion, sharing – with or without fascination – depending on each one. The gleam in the eyes reveals itself when the first images in the film give birth after Mr. Leite’s “green alchemies”. This glow is reinforced when the projector lamp is lit for the first time. From then on, one enters without taking off, in the new, in the old, in the future, in the most exciting or in those that are written on wipes in restaurants and cafés and quickly fade away. Projects! The gauge matters little, you think more, you film less, and in the end the magic of cinema happens and friendship endures.”


Sofia Pires


“The days I spent here were very beautiful and special and I’m sure I won’t forget them, in every shot, short film or film club I make in the future. Thank you for being this beautiful community light that, at a time when I’m so disenchanted with cinema, has reminded me of the reasons why I fell in love with this craft. May you continue to resist, for many years to come, with such a good force of resistance that fights for ways of doing, of producing, of being together and in the world that are so shared, fair, collaborative and democratic as the one I found here with you, and that are so rare, sometimes, to find in the world.”

Marie Fages


“Here really is one of these places where time flies, light, fun, solar. The wonderful energy of the Shale House already resonates in every ray of sunlight that continues to illuminate the images I will shoot in the future, full of new learning and collaborating comrades.”

Zack Shorrosh


“I’m so glad I got to have this experience honestly life changing. I learned so much in this wonderful house, thank you so much for having me and organizing this incredible group week. Love you! You are always welcome in NYC!”

Emma Penrose


“Thank you for inviting us into this nourishing and beautiful space. Thus has changed my life.”

Ian Capillé


“Not even my highest expectations could prepare me for what has rolled out this week here. Thank you Catarina, Ricardo and Steve for so much learning and invention, and thank you to all my colleagues for reminding me that cinema and friendship are a beautiful adventure.”


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