FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival (19)


15 Sep 2022
Call for entries

16 Oct 2022
Early deadline

09 Mar 2023
Standard deadline

19 Mar 2023
Late deadline

19 Mar 2023
Festival closed

31 May 2023
Notification date

19 Jun 2023
26 Jun 2023


Apartado 234,  4501-910 , Espinho, Aveiro, Portugal

Festival description
Short film festival 54'<
Feature film festival >55'

Festival requirements
 Film festival
 Music Video
 Any Genre
 Any Theme
 Has submission fees
 International Festival
 Physical Location
 January 2022
 Production countries: Any
 Shooting countries: Any
 Director nationalities: Any
 Debut Films 
 School projects 
 Short Films  54'<
 Feature Films  >55'
 Any language
 Any language
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Photo of FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival
Photo of FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival

Photo of FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival
Photo of FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival


Festival start: 19 June 2023      Festival end: 26 June 2023

19 - 26 June 2023 | Espinho, Portugal

FEST – New Directors | New Films Festival is an all-encompassing celebration of the new tendencies of world cinema. The event focuses on a competitive and non-competitive showcase of the most promising new figures and works from around the globe.

The 19th edition of the festival will take place between the 19th and the 26th of June 2023, in the seaside town of Espinho (Portugal).

The selection is divided into several categories which include Feature Film and Short Film competitions in the Fiction, Documentary, Animation, Experimental Non-Narrative formats, as well as also content adequate for children and teenagers. The event also includes non-competitive sections that range from retrospectives, national and regional showcases, open-air beach screenings and the exhibition of Transmedia and Virtual Reality content, only to name a few.

We are accepting films under the following formats:
A) Fiction and Non-Fiction feature films (minimum length is 55 minutes) from directors who are on their first or second feature-length project, regardless of age.

B) Fiction, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental Short films (up to 54 minutes of duration) from directors who have completed no more than two feature films, regardless of age.

Candidates must choose one of the available submission categories. Do not worry if your film fits different categories (Ie: Hybrid productions), as all submissions will be considered for the different competitions. If your film is also eligible for the NEXXT competition (focused on academic productions) but you wish the film to be considered for all other competitions please mention in the comment section of the submission the academic institution where the film was produced. If you have any doubts at all please do not hesitate to contact us at films@fest.pt.

Throughout the years' FEST has selected for its feature film competitions films such as Ainhoa Rodríguez´s "Mighty Flash"; Teodora Mihai´s “The Civilian”; Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid with "Enforcement"; Julie Lecoustre, Emmanuel Marre´s “Zero Fucks Given”; P.S. Vinothraj “Pebbles”; Eugen Jebeleanu´s “Poppy field”; and Valdimar Jóhannsson´s “Lamb”, all of this on the fiction side, then in the Documentary side, Karima Saidi´s "A way Home", Michał Edelman´s "Last Knights Of The Right Side", Franz Böhm´s "Dear Future Children" among many others.

FEST’s Short Film sections are known for its wide variety of styles and filmic visions, having been throughout the years a platform for the launch of new artists such as Govinda Van Maele (Luxembourg), Christos Massalas (Greece), Mati Diop (France), Adriano Valerio (Italy), Patrick Vollrath (Germany), Ninja Thyberg (Sweden), Manuel Abramovich (Argentina), Daria Belova (Russia), Simon Mésa Soto (Colombia), Aga Woszczynska (Poland), Jela Hasler (Switzerland), as well as hundreds of other up-and-coming filmmakers.

FEST also includes a series of other activities that run parallel to the festival, in particular, FEST – Training Ground (one of Europe’s largest film forums) and FEST – Pitching Forum (film project competition), and others. For more information please visit our website at www.fest.pt

a) GOLDEN LYNX (Fiction & Documentary Feature Length Films)

b) SILVER LYNX (Fiction, Documentary, Animation and Non-Narrative Experimental Short Length Films)

c) PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX (Portuguese majority Short Length Films)

d) NEXXT (Academic Short Length Films)

e) FESTinha Sub 10 & Sub 12 & Sub 16 (Children & Youth Short Length Films)

f) AUDIENCE AWARDS (Feature & Short Length Films)


* 1.1.  FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival (hereinater: the Festival) will have its next edition from 19th June to 26th June, 2023 in Espinho, Portugal. (The festival reserves the right to change the dates for extraordinary circunstances.) 

* 1.2.  The Festival is organized by FEST – Associação Cultural (hereinater: the Organization), a non-profit NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) developing work on film, media and education, registered at Rua 23 N.o 768, 4500-276 Espinho, Portugal. 

* 1.3.  The 19th edition of the FEST will take place with the following objectives:

* Promote sustainable development of film, screenings and promoting new talents in this area; 

* Disseminate new innovative work and film discourses from around the globe, providing a privileged window into the world of New Cinema; 

* Create new audiences for cinema; 

* Promote the interchange of experiences between participants in the event; 

* Elevate the skills of participants; 

* Promote the city of Espinho as a quality cultural tourism destination; 

* Ofer a quality cultural event accessible to every individual. 

* 2.1.  The Festival has two distinct types of competition, competitions focused on Feature Films (upwards of 55 minutes length) and competitions for Short Films (up to 54 minutes). These competitions are represented in the sections Golden and Silver Lynx, NEXXT, Portuguese Grand Prix and FESTinha. 

* 2.2.  We accept Fiction, Documentary, Animation, Experimental Non-Narrative and Children films (features and shorts) by authors who have produced no more than two feature films (works longer than 55 minutes). All works produced by that author, after he or she has completed the second feature film will be automatically considered invalid. 

* 2.3.  The feature film competition accepts films that are first or second feature length productions (regardless of the director’s age). 

* 2.4.  The films must have been concluded after the 1st of January 2022 and they must not have been screened in previous editions of the Festival. 

* 2.5. Film submissions will not be discriminated in terms of theme, genre, race, creed or any other limitations, apart from the elements described in these regulations. As such, all submissions will be analysed with the same rigor and dedication. 

*2.6. Submissions which do not fit these requirements will be considered automatically invalid, and FEST reserves the right to not let the applicant know that his or her application has been disqualified.

* 3.1.  All films to be considered for selection must be submitted using only one of the following options:

* Using our own form that can be found in our page https://site.fest.pt/en/.
 You should fulfill the form so your submission is accepted. You should also Upload your film in the right field of the form, and the same should be available to the due date of notification selection (see point 6.2) 

* Using our page at Festhome

(https://festhome.com/f/1524), where the largest possible amount of information about the production should be made available. 

* 3.2. There are three diferent submission period:
a) The early bird begins on the 15th of September and ends on the 16th of October at 23h59 GMT;
b) The normal period starts on the 17th of october and closes on the 9th of March 2023 at 23h59 GMT;
c) the extend deadline period will take place between the 10th and the 19th of March at 23h50GMT.

All applications submitted ater the mentioned deadline may be automatically disqualified. 

* 3.3. All links/online screeners must be made available until the 31st of May 2023. It is also obligatory that all films are made available with English subtitles (including Portuguese productions) unless all dialogues are already in English. 

* 3.4.  If the submitter has any problem completing the application or making the online screener available via streaming, he or she must get in direct contact with the Organization of the Festival via the following address films@fest.pt between the 15th of September 2022 and the 19th of March 2023 (the email title/subject must contain the title of the film and the name of the director in the title). The organization reserves the right to not reply to requests and queries sent outside of the mentioned period. 

* 3.5.  The applicant will indicate on the entry form the category of their film. Only one of the following options must be chosen: Fiction; Documentary; Animation; Experimental.

-3.5.1 If the film in question is a hybrid, where diferent styles and genres are mixed, the candidate must choose one single genre.

3.5.2 The Organization reserves the right to opt for a diferent style/genre then the one the candidate choose and indicated in the submission form. 

* 3.6.  It is permitted for the applicant to submit more than one film (in separate entries); The candidate cannot submit the same film in diferent categories or genres, as described in point 3.5. 

* 3.7.  Once a film is submitted to the Festival, it cannot, for any reason, be removed from the program by the person or institution who submitted it. 

* 3.8.  By filling in the form and sending the application and film, the applicant provides full legal authorization for the Organization to exhibit the film in the Festival and in public presentations. However, each selected candidate will be contacted in order to sign and send us an exhibition license, either as an individual or as a group, for legal purposes. 

* 4.1.  All film submissions are dependent on a submission fee. The payment will be completed using Paypal and the submission platforms mentioned above in 3.1.

-4.1.1 The submission fee between the 15th of September and the 16th of October is subject to the “Early Bird” discount, where the prices drop to 6,00 EUR for short Films and 10,00 EUR for Feature Films. 

-4.1.2 Between the 17th of October and the 9th of March is subject to the Regular Submission period, 8,00 EUR for short Films and 12,00 EUR for Feature Films; 

-4.1.3 Between 10th of March and the 19th of March, there is an extended Submission Period where the prices are a bit higher, 12,00 EUR for short Films and 16,00 EUR for Feature Films. 

* 4.2.  All Portuguese majority productions are exempt of any submission fee in order for the organization to promote the participation of the Portuguese artists and industry members. This exemption does not apply to other Portuguese speaking nations and regions.

* 4.3.  All productions from countries currently under sanctions by the European Union or the Portuguese Republic, or with significant obstacles to PayPal access or impossibility of international bank transfers, may be exempt from paying the submission fee. 

-4.3.1 All of these situations will be dealt on a case by case basis, as such, it is vital that these candidates get in touch with the Organization of the Festival, before completing the submission, via this email: films@fest.pt.

* 4.4.  If a candidate has any significant technical problem in the payment of the submission fee, he or she must get in touch right away with the organization via email to films@fest.pt in order to initiate a discussion on alternative payment methods. ese situations will be dealt with on a case by case basis and the Organization reserves the right to not provide an alternative to PayPal as a payment method. 

* 4.5.  If a candidate requires a Fee Waiver, they will have to get in touch with the organization via email to films@fest.pt, explaining with great detail the reasons behind their request. The Organization reserves the right to deny any Fee Waiver.

* 4.6.  If the purchaser wishes to receive an invoice: 

-4.6.1 If the submission was done on our platform and site, it must be requested within the first 30 days after making the payment. The invoice request must be sent via email to films@fest.pt and it must have the payment confirmation attached and contain the invoice details of the purchaser (name, postal address, and tax / VAT number).

-4.6.2 If the submission was done on other platforms, as written above, in point 3.1, such as FestHome, the invoice must be requested directly to those platforms.

* 5.1. The Festival’s competitions are structured in diferent sections, each with its own jury members. Each section, jury and award is structured as follows: 

-5.1.1 All feature films selected for the Golden Lynx competition will be disputing the awards Golden Lynx for Best Fiction Feature Film; or Golden Lynx For Best Documentary Feature Film. These works will also be disputing the Audience Award for Best Feature Film; 

-5.1.2 All short Films selected for the Silver Lynx Competition will be disputing the awards Silver Lynx For Best Fiction Short Film; or Silver Lynx Award For Best Documentary Short Film; or Silver Lynx Award For Best Animation Short Film; or Silver Lynx Award For Best Experimental Short Film. All these works will also be disputing the Audience Award For Best Short Film;

5.1.3 All the short Films selected for the National Grand Prix (GPN or NGP), limited to Portuguese majority productions, will be disputing the National Grand Prix Award; 

-5.1.4 All the Short Films selected for the NEXXT competition, limited to films produced in an academic context, will be disputing the NEXXT Award;

5.1.5 All the Feature and Short Films selected for the FESTinha section, focused on content directed at children and teenagers, will be disputing one of the three possible awards: FESTinha Sub10; FESTinha Sub12; and FESTinha Sub16. 

* 5.2. The Organization of the Festival will create 6 separate jury groups (between 2 and 5 members each), who will have total freedom, and will not be subjected to any interference or suggestions by the organization, at the moment of choosing the winning films. These 6 groups will be formed under the following structure:

* Fiction Feature Jury; 

* Feature and Short Documentary Jury; 

* Short Animation and Experimental Jury; 

* Short Fiction Jury; 

* NEXXT Jury; 

* National Grand Prix Jury; 

* 5.3. The winners of the FESTinha competition will be defined in a diferent format, where a pre-defined group of children and teenagers, through a workshop method, will decide on the 3 winning films, without any interference by the Organization which may put in question the independence and neutrality of the jury. 

* 5.4.  The two Audience Awards (one for feature and another for short films) will be defined through a ballot paper vote.

5.4.1 Only the films exhibited in the context of the Golden and Silver Lynx competitions will be eligible for the Audience Award. 

*5.5. The final Jury attributes awards without appeal and according to rules based on general principles determined by the Organization. The final jury has the right to not award any one of the prizes if the criteria, according to their belief, are not met.

-5.5.1 The Jury may not choose to award more than one winning film in each category.

-5.5.2 The Jury may distribute a maximum of two Honourable Mentions per category,
although it has the right to not attribute any mention if it sees fit.

* 5.6.  Media representatives present at the Festival may provide a Film Critics’ Award without the interference of the Organization. 

* 5.7.  The Organization ensures the delivery of prizes if no representative of the film is present at the closing ceremony, which will take place on the 25th of June 2023 in Espinho. The prizes consist of a special trophy that will be sent via post by the end of September 2023. The festival regards the right to send the price only one time. 

* 5.8.  Additional rewards are not guaranteed, and if confirmed will be made known via our website https://site.fest.pt/en/, together with additional rules specifically defined for that purpose, if necessary. These new rules will not change or afect any other rule published in this document. 

* 6.1. The selection of the Festival is made by a secret group of programmers which should not be contacted directly by the applicants, as such any direct dialogue with programmers can be regarded as an unfair advantage and can be a strong enough reason for the Organization to disqualify the submissions.

6.1.1 All information, questions, queries or sending of additional material or updated news of the film or filmmakers recent career must be sent to at films@fest.pt (the email title/subject must contain the title of the film and the name of the director in the title).

6.1.2 The Organization reserves the right to not share information about the chances of selection of a submission during the period of analysis. 

* 6.2. The Organization of the Festival will inform the applicants that have been selected for the competitive section by email or phone, latest by the 31st of May 2023. 

-6.2.1 The Organization reserves the right to not contact non-selected submissions, yet the organization commits itself to do all the necessary eforts to contact every single submitter if possible. The final selection will be published on our website https://site.fest.pt/en/ .

*-6.2.2 The Organization reserves the right to not use the contact options and selection news services within the partner platforms (FestHome). 

* 6.3. The Organization is not obliged to provide reasons for the non-selection of a film. 

* 6.4.  The Organization is not obliged to cover screening fees, as such applicants recognize this situation at the time of submission. 


*7.1. Expenses for the shipping and screening of films are to be met by the film’s applicants; unless there is a previous written agreement between the applicant and the Organization stating the contrary.

* 7.2. All applications or film copies sent with remitted expenses to be paid at the destination will be returned and considered invalid. 

* 7.3. The exhibition copies must be sent by 2nd of May 2023, unless both parties have a written agreement claiming the opposite. 

* 7.4. The Festival accepts the following formats for exhibition: DCP, Blu-Ray, digital file .MP4 or .MOV, 1080p or 720p. These formats can be changed by the Organization of the Festival at any moment. 5.1 Audio may not be available.

*-7.4.1 All exhibition copies must have no embedded subtitles and shall be accompanied by a srt. file with the correct time codes and clear English subtitles. 

*8.1. The Organization reserves the right to define the date of the screening and does not guarantee that the date can be altered at the convenience of the applicant. FEST also reserves the right, in case of extraordinary reasons, to change the date and time of the screening at the last minute.

8.1.1 In case a film is awarded, it will be rescreened on the 26th of June 2023, without additional costs or fee. 

* 8.2.  All selected filmmakers will be provided with two free accreditations that give full access to all film screenings, masterclasses and workshops.

8.2.1 All selected filmmakers have the right to submit, free of charge, one single project application to the 2024 edition of FEST – Pitching Forum. 

* 8.3.  All selected filmmakers will be provided with up to 10 tickets for the oficial screening, which must be requested by the 18th of June 2023. 

* 8.4. The Organization cannot guarantee any support or reimbursement of travel, accommodation and food expenses by any member of the cast and crew of a selected film. The applicant recognizes this situation at the time of submitting the film. 

* 8.5. All films and materials sent to the Festival will not be returned and will remain in the event’s archive, unless there is a previous written agreement between the applicant and the Organization stating the contrary. 

* 8.6. All the confirmed films will be presented in:

8.6.1 physical and online programming on our website (https://site.fest.pt/en/);

8.6.2 FEST – New Directors | New Films Festival Catalog, which will be distributed among the jury and Festival guests, and available for sale in the Festival shop;

-8.6.3 publications for social media and digital platforms of the Festival, and media. 

* 8.7. The information about the film, the visual materials and the directors profiles for the publication will be based on the information and materials submitted in the submission. The Organization is not responsible for any spelling or grammar mistakes or wrong information provided in the submission form.

-8.7.1 Equally, title changes made by the filmmakers after the submission, may not be possible to alter, as such the applicant recognizes this at the moment of completing the submission. 

* 8.8. Changes requested after submitting a film or after the announcement of the selection results may not be possible to alter, as such the applicant recognizes this at the moment of completing the submission. 

* 8.9. The Organization reserves the right to not include all the submitted information in the publications described in point 8.6. and to choose only specific sections to be featured in each publication. 

* 9.1. The Organization is not under any obligation to pay compensation where any change to or cancellation of the Festival program is caused by circumstances outside our control, namely: war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, industrial dispute, airline grounding, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disasters, pandemics and epidemics, fire or adverse weather conditions and all similar events. 

-9.1.1 All deadlines and/or agreements set in these regulations or written agreement with the Organization can be changed. 

* 9.2. All eventual doubts or omissions in the regulation will be solved by the Organization following rules of equity and good and fair judgment. 

* 9.3. The submission of a film to FEST — New Directors | New Films Festival translates to full acceptance and no reservations in the terms of the regulation.



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