Aurélio da Paz dos Reis Aurelio da Paz dos Reis
The first native Portuguese filmmaker
Paz dos Reis was a horticulturalist and owner of a successful florist's shop in Porto, but also an amateur photgrapher who witnessed Edwin Rousby's films shows in June 1896 and decided to take up cinematography. Purchasing a De Bedts Kinématographe he began that year to show a large number of actuality subjects taken by himself in the Lumière manner: Saida do Pessoal Operario da Fabrica Confianca (Workers Leaving the Confianca Shirt Factory), Feira da Gado na Corujeira (Cattle Market at Corujeira), Rua Augusta, Lisboa (Augusta Street, Lisbon), as well as exhibiting imported films. His first film programme took place at the Teatro Principe Real in Porto 10 November 1896. Further screenings in Portugal followed, but after a disastrous show in Brazil on 15 January 1897 when technical problems ruined everything the traumatised Paz dos Reis abandoned cinematography and returned to his flowers and simple photography.