Six recommended film festivals in Portugal

Our favourite international and regional film festivals in Portugal

Good weather and a pleasant climate. Portugal is always worth a visit, especially if you can combine the useful with the pleasant. For example, a city break combined with a visit to a film festival. Portugal has an exciting scene of small independent film festivals spread throughout the country. In this article, however, we would also like to focus on the large international festivals that are also suitable for an international audience in terms of their program.

The major festivals are mainly concentrated in the metropolises of Lisbon and Porto. Their international orientation and broadcasting in the original versions make them interesting for an international audience. However, some – mainly smaller festivals – also open up detours to less touristy cities, but can sometimes offer a Portuguese-language program. Here is our small, hand-picked overview of some of the film festivals we recommend. Have we forgotten something? Then we would be delighted to receive a tip via e-mail or social media (see sidebar). This list is constantly being expanded.


📅 March (Porto), international program

The Festival Internacional de Cinema do Porto, short Fantasporto an annual international film festival first held in 1981. More than 100.000 visitors a year enjoy one of the biggest film festivals specialized on the genre of Fantasy in the world. Prizes are awarded in various categories by an international Jury.

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Curtas Vila do Conte – Festival Internacional de Cinema

📅 July (Vila do Conte), international short film program

The International Film Festival in Vila do Conte has existed since 1933 and has developed into an important event for international short film in Portugal over the years. Each year short films are shown and prized in many different categories like international, national, experimental, and some others. For more information, follow the link.

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Queer Lisboa & Queer Porto

📅 September (Lisbon) and October (Porto), international program

The Queer Lisboa – Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is the only film festival with the specific purpose of screening films with non-normative sexualities and identities in Portugal. First held in 1997, Queer Lisboa is the oldest film festival in Lisbon and one of the most important international platforms of alternative cinema in Portugal. In 2015, the festival team, managed to create a similar festival in Porto, which takes place a few weeks later than the one in Lisbon. Important to say that the Porto version is its own festival with various movies and activities and not a copy of the origin festival.

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📅 October (Lisbon), international programme

The Doclisboa – Festival Internacional de Cinema Documental de Lisboa is an annual festival for documentary films, portuguese and international. The festival takes place since 2002, but emerged out of the Encontros Internacionais de Cinema Documental da Malaposta, which was one of the first portuguese festivals exclusively for documentaries.

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FIKE – Évora Internacional Short Film Festival

📅 December (Évora), international short film program

Since 2001, the Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens de Évora – FIKE has been dedicated to the screening of short films from Portugal and around the world. The best and most innovative films and their components are honoured with trophies and diplomas. The festival is organised by the Sociedade Operária de Instrução e Recreio Joaquim António d’Aguiar (SOIR) in Évora. Unfortunately, in recent years (for example in 2023), the festival has not been able to take place due to a lack of sufficient funding.

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Vista Curta (Viseu)

📅 December (Viseu), nationales Kurzfilmprogramm

The vista curta film festival in Viseu specializes on Portuguese short films. In the center of the event lies the intention to support regional film productions, with their prizes. Short films of any genre are welcome and there is even n award for a films that are not jet finished and which is awarded by a jury of under 18-year-olds.

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