FEST – Pitching Forum

FEST – Pitching Forum is FEST’s international financing and co-production event, dedicated to the facilitation, development and financing of film projects.

The 28 selected finalists will have 5 minutes to present their pitch to world renowned experts, including producers, distributors and financiers, all looking for new projects to support. At the end of each pitch they will have 10 minutes for collective feedback and discussion with the experts. In addition to that, each finalist will have the opportunity to partake in an exclusive individual meeting with all the experts, for private feedback and counselling about their project.

The projects will be divided into three categories: short films, feature films and documentaries, so we can build a panel of experts working in these fields within the international film industry. One session will be held for each category.

The final presentations will be preceded by a three-day training focused on pitch development, head by two renowned experts who will help the finalists to prepare their presentation, so they can take the most of it.

FEST – Pitching Forum will be held on June 28th and 29th, 2019 in Espinho, Portugal. The training activities will take place on the previous days: June 25th – 27th, 2019.

The call for projects is open now – submit your application here.


Call for entries:  October 29th, 2018 – April 1st, 2019

Notification of project selection: by May 15th, 2019 at the latest

Pitching Training for selected finalists: June 25th – 27th, 2019

Pitching Forum Final Presentations: June 28th and 29th, 2019


At the end of each presentation session the experts will decide on the awards, which are:

MENTORSHIP AWARD – 3 months tutoring and project development with an expert. The most valued projects will have the opportunity to be tutored and helped in their development by one of the experts, who will support the project to get to a new level.

FEST FILM LAB AWARD – A weekend training at a FEST FILM LAB Workshop of the winners’ choosing

POST PRODUCTION AWARD – Services in Post-production provided by one of FEST’s partners.

The most valuable takeaway for FEST – Pitching Forum will undoubtedly be the feedback and interaction with the experts who will participate in the event for the entire two days.

Each panel consists of no less than 11 producers, distributors, project developers per session with considerable experience in the film industry.

Firstly, each member of the panel of experts can select projects that they would like to develop/ tutor/ finance/ produce. If your project doesn’t win any of the immediate awards, or isn’t selected individually by any of the experts present to be developed/ tutored/ financed/ produced, there is still something extremely valuable you will take home: the feedback from some of the most experienced professionals in the film industry. This will be given to you immediately after your pitch, and privately at the end of the session. This will be constructive feedback that will help you to significantly improve your project, and will stay with you for the coming years.


These are some experts that have joined our panel in the past: 

Finola Dwyer – Oscar nominated and Bafta Award winning film and TV producer, and head of Wildgaze films. She was a producer on Brooklyn (2015), An Education (2009) and Severance (2006).

Michael Katz – producer who works regularly with Michael Haneke, for whom he produced The White Ribbon and Amour;

Tim Corrie – Founder of United Agents and former deputy chairman of BATFA;

Gareth Wiley – producer of Woody Allen’s “Matchpoint” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona”

Angela Bosch – advisor in the fields of promotion, distribution and international co-production to the Spanish audiovisual industry;

Paulo Trancoso – co-producer of Queen Margot and Night Train to Lisbon, from production company Costa do Castelo Filmes;

Cynthia Hargrave – producer of Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson’s first feature film;

Jarle Björknes – from the Norwegian film fund Filmkraft;

Luís Ismael – from the Portuguese production company Lightbox;

Chadi Zeneddine – programmer for the Doha Film Institute;

Nuno Beato – from the Portuguese production company Sardinha em Lata;

Scandar Copti – director of Ajami;

Irena Taskovski – from the sales agency Taskovski Films;

Tamara González – from the Portuguese production company Papaveronoir Filmes.


Previous years’ projects:

Last year was the 7th edition of FEST – Pitching Forum, and we were able to look back with a strong sense of pride.

More than 200 projects from all over the world have been pitched at FEST – Pitching Forum, including productions from Hong Kong, India, USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Romania and, of course, Portugal.

 We saw the birth of many amazing projects that have since reached their maturity:

– The film “Inflame” by Ceylan Özgün, the winner of the FEST FILM LAB Award in 2015, premiered at the Berlinale 2017;

– “237 Years” by Ioana Mischie, the winner of the Mentorship Award 2015, is making very successful festival tours;

– The short film “I’ll Probably Never See You Again” by Mitja Mlakar and Mojca Pernat, the winner of the Mentorship Award in 2015, just entered its production stage. We’re all rooting for them;

– The documentary “The Meaning of Life” by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes, a wonderful project being shot all around the world, takes its quest to new territories. We had the chance to get to know this project, which is still in production, back in 2014;

– The film “A Broken Man” by Julien Kerknawi, which was part of FEST – Pitching Forum 2013, also had an admirable festival life.

For more information please contact us at pitching@fest.pt