Pitching Forum

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FEST Pitching Forum is a unique event that opens a world of opportunities to new filmmakers.


In a 5 minute pitch, each participant has the chance to present their pitch to world reknowned experts, from producers, to fund managers and financiers, looking for new projects.

This is the 6th edition of FEST Pitching Forum, and we’re able to look back with a strong sense of pride. We saw the birth of many amazing projects that have since reached their maturity:


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


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


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


- The documentary “The Meaning of Life”, by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes, is a wonderfull project, being shot all around the world, that 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;


Among many others. More than 100 projectos, from all over the world, have been pitched at the Pitching Forum. From Hong Kong, Índia, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Germany, to the USA, Romania, and, of course, Portugal.


Registrations for FEST Pitching Forum 2017 are now open.


Pitching Forum welcomes the following film categories: Feature Film, Short Film and Documentary. One session will be held for each category.


There are limited places, therefore there will be a pre-selection. Only 28 projects will be selected.


In addition to the forum itself, participants will be involved in training activities. The 28 selected participants will be able to take part in a 3-day training-program, in preparation for the big event.


In the pitching sessions, participants will pitch their film projects in front of a panel experts divided into the above mentioned 3 sessions:

– Feature Film

– Short Film

– Documentary


At the end of each pitch, there will be 10 minutes for feedback and discussion with the experts. At the end of the Pitching Forum, each participant will partake in an exclusive individual meeting with all the experts, for private feedback and counseling about their project.

 FEST Pitching Forum will be held in Espinho, Portugal, at Biblioteca Municipal José Marmelo e Silva, on June 23rd and 24th 2017. The training will take place on the previous days: June 20th, 21st and 22nd.





Each of the 3 sessions will have immediate awards at Pitching Forum. 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 and help it get to a new level. The list of awards is the following:


Mentorship Award

3 months tutoring and project development with an expert.


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 our partners: Goldcrest Film, Halo Post Production, Envy Post Production.



There is much more to be gained in addition to the immediate awards at FEST – Pitching Forum!




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

Each panel will consist of no less than 11 producers, financiers and, project developers per session with considerable experience in the field - from television to documentary and fiction.


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 names that have joined our panel in the past:


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

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

Paulo Trancoso – 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.



The feedback from our past participants has been excelent:


“A Broken Man” - Julien Kerknawi (Participant in the 2013 session)

'It was my very first film festival back in 2013 and the cinematic talent you get to hear speaking are full of great knowledge. The people you get to know and the very fun, laid back vibe is really inspiring and when you go home, you will be full of motivation to work further. The pitching session was a great way to find out what decision makers are paying attention to. To know the pitfalls and the opportunities of pitching, this place is a must-go.”


“The Kingdom of Shadows” (“All My Heart’s Desires”) - Daniel Fawcett (Participant in the 2013 session)

"The Kingdom of Shadows” certainly owes a lot to FEST, pitching our film at the festival was key for us in understanding the direction that we wanted to take the production, it enabled us to see how we wanted to move forward with the film and the kind of production structure that was right for us. We also met some of our key collaborators at FEST who after hearing about our films approached us about becoming involved."


“Wickham” – Nikolai Galitzine (Participant in the 2014 session)

Tim (Corrie) is amazing!We are still meeting, and he has been a great support. The mentorship is still continuing, and I believe will continue for a while. He is very supportive and is giving me great advice!

I am beginning on a feature project at the moment and he is continuing to follow my progress.

Many many thank you!!!! I really needed this. To have such an important figure of the British Film industry taking an interest in my work has given me a huge amount of self confidence to push forward.


“Lessons of Love” - Marija Fridinovaitè (Participant in the 2015 session)

The number 1 thing that I learned in FEST-Pitching Forum was confidence - trusting yourself and your project. There is no one in the world that can tell your story better than you can. Even though it always requires some preparation, that is all it is about. With preparation comes the respect for your audience and the success. In Espinho I learned that it is not so much about the performance, but about being honest and humble. As long as the heart is there, there is no need to dread really.:) 




Registrations are now open. Good luck!

For more informations: pitching@fest.pt