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 counseling 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 make the most of it.

FEST - Pitching Forum will be held on June 26th and 27th, 2020 in Espinho, Portugal. The training activities will take place on the previous days: June 24th - 25th, 2020.





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

MENTORSHIP AWARD – 3 months of 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.




Apart from the awards, he 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 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

Tivi Magnusson - Producer "The New Tenants", "Adam's Apples" and "The Green Butchers"

Paul Miller - Producer "Snow Angels" and "Prozac Nation"

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

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

Sean Gascoine - Talent agent at United Agents

Isabel Lima - Distributor at NOS Audiovisuais

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

Kami Naghdi - Lawyer, head of film and TV at Clintons

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

Rachel Robey - Producer at Wellington Films 


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

Pandora Cunha Teles - Producer "Al Berto" and "A Mãe é que sabe" 



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.


The feedback from our past participants has been excellent:

 “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.” “A Broken Man” - Julien Kerknawi (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." “The Kingdom of Shadows” (“All My Heart’s Desires”) - Daniel Fawcett (Participant in the 2013 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 selfconfidence to push forward.” “Wickham” – Nikolai Galitzine (Participant in the 2014 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.:) “ “Lessons of Love” - Marija Fridinovaitè (Participant in the 2015 session)


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