New Directors | New Films

Side Bar

FEST — New Directors | New Films Festival is a unique gathering and celebration of emerging filmmakers. This annual event in a beach resort of Espinho is the most vibrant film festival in Portugal, focused on the discovery of new talents worldwide.

Festival profile
The Festival is focused on creating a space for up-and-coming filmmakers to show and promote their work, to develop their skills, offering new opportunities, and the chance to develop new audiences for independent cinema. The idea of the event is to provide them with help at the beginning of their professional careers in terms of reaching the audience, enhancing their education and developing their next productions. Therefore, the program is divided into three main sections: film screenings (both competitive and non-competitive), Training Ground and Pitching Forum. However, there is also space for more casual activities, as the festival aims to create an open and relaxed atmosphere for networking and knowledge exchange in an informal context.

In 2019, FEST reaches its 15th edition, which will take place between the 24th of June and the 1st of July 2019


FEST - Film Program

The festival is divided into several categories, competitive and non-competitive, with 2 main award categories: Short films by filmmakers up to the age of 35 (Silver Lynx competition); and Features from directors who are on their first or second production, regardless of their age (Golden Lynx competition). NEXXT is a competitive section dedicated to student films.

Learn more about competitive sections here

The festival also hosts several non-competitive sections, such Flavours of the World (focusing each year on specific countries), Be Kind Rewind (a retrospective section) and FESTinha (proposing screenings and activities for the younger viewers).

Learn more about non-competitive sections here



The festival is divided into three main sections: Film Program, Training Ground and Pitching Forum

FEST - Training Ground

The educational section of the festival, FEST - Training Ground, is another unique aspect of the event. It consists of a series of workshops and masterclasses presented by some of the film industry’s biggest names in several technical, artistic and theoretical fields. It hosts more than 25 masterclasses and workshops during the festival where the participants are able to get in touch the industry’s leading experts with highly acknowledged achievements, and also share their experience and widen their contacts with other trainees in a relaxed but energetic environment.

FEST - Training Ground covers a vast amount of subjects related to filmmaking, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive film forums in existence, attracting more than 600 filmmakers from around the world per year.

It encompasses a few parallel activities: 

FEST - Networking Dinners will take place in the main room of the Piscina Solário Atlântico. This is a beautiful swimming pool complex, right next to the beach. This space is accessible only to FEST attendees, and it is the perfect occasion to gather with participants, invited filmmakers and guests of Training Ground and Pitching Forum. Participants of Training Ground are welcome to register and attend the FEST - Networking Dinners, where they can enjoy great Portuguese food and wine.

The Industry Meetings create a more structured context for a valuable exchange of knowledge and experience between film professionals and participants. One on one meetings with producers, financiers, project developers can be scheduled upon request from the participants looking for career advice or feedback on projects in development.

Also, the Filmmakers Corner allows FEST - Training Ground participants to expose their work to an audience of their choice within a very special screening space. The space is open throughout the event and can be booked by any participant during the Festival. 


FEST - Pitching Forum

The festival has an unquestionable thirst for new visions and perspectives on film, also providing a further step for these emerging filmmakers to continue their work. The festival offers not only the chance to have their film screened in the context of a high-quality program, but also a training program to enhance the knowledge. New opportunities can be found at FEST - Pitching Forum, where 28 projects will be selected to be presented to a group of financiers, developers, and producers, with a development award for the best project, and many opportunities for the other projects presented. 


Other Activities

FESTival Village
The FESTival Village will be the festival’s leisure space. On the comfortable seats, in the shadow provided by tents, you will be able to relax in between other festival activities. There will be also several happenings and festivities during the FEST week, together with the local community of Espinho.

FEST Nights
The motto during FEST is Work Hard, Play Hard! So, while we invite you to assist our masterclasses, we also invite you to join other participants, guests and staff the official FEST bar at night, for some more relaxed networking and fun times.