Who are we?

PORTUGAL FILM – Portuguese Film Agency

The growing international recognition of Portuguese cinema arose an ever greater curiosity for the films obtained in our country and with it, Portugal Film. Portuguese cinema is based on a diversity of films whose reach is conditioned by the ability of directors and producers to access the means necessary for their promotion. The success of an internationalization plan is mainly due to the concrete capacity of promotional agents to bring films to entities such as distributors, festivals and local exhibition networks that will show them to an international audience.

With about 20 years of activity in this area, IndieLisboa - Associação Cultural has been responsible for the dissemination of many films and directors through the regular presentation of national productions to international film festivals.

In recent years, Portugal Film - Portuguese Film Agency (which was officially created in 2013 within IndieLisboa - Associação Cultural) has been working, in a structured and professional manner so that Portuguese films can have world and international premieres at festivals of relevance, consequently helping to establish and recognize Portuguese authors at international level. To achieve this, the agency presents an annually catalog of short and feature films in all genres and formats (fictions, documentaries, animations and experimental films) to festival directors, film programmers, distributors, buyers and journalists from the most respected international media outlets. This is a model that was created almost spontaneously and that had to become operational in order to respond to the constant demand from Portuguese directors and producers, who found an anchor in Portugal Film that allows them to establish a base to obtain greater visibility for their films.

Portugal Film has promoted and broadcasted the production of national cinema in a coherent language and strategy, taking into account the different interlocutors (festivals and international showcases, international distributors, buyers, cinematheques, cultural institutes and specialized press) and the specificity of each film. In just seven years, Portugal Film has placed almost all of its films in the main international film festivals, where they were widely awarded, critically acclaimed and requested by other festivals, extending their reach even further. Our agency opened new spaces by placing films in competition at festivals where a Portuguese production had never been selected before. The work done for each represented film is contextualized in the work of its authors, so that each cinematographic work is promoted according to the uniqueness of its own characteristics and reaches an international audience as wide as possible. With each film, the work of its director is also promoted, in a bet of continued success. 

Through its films, Portugal Film has accumulated countless prizes, standing out among them the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlinale for Batrachian's Ballad by Leonor Teles, the youngest winner of this award, as well as two nominations for the European Film Awards: The Marvelous Misadventures of the Stone Lady by Gabriel Abrantes in 2019 and Past Perfect by Jorge Jácome in 2020. Mentions should also be made for the selections to the Official Competition of the Berlinale for Colo by Teresa Villaverde and for Pedro Pinho’s The Nothing Factory at the Directors' Fortnight.

In the field of short films praise should also be made for the selection of young authors in the Director’s Fortnight and Semaine de la Critique of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival: Marta Mateus (Barbs, Wastelands), Gabriel Abrantes (The Marvelous Misadventures of the Stone Lady), Duarte Coimbra (Amor, Avenidas Novas), Cristèle Alves Meira (Campo de Víboras and Invisible Hero), Pedro Peralta (Ascension), Margarida Rêgo (The Revolution Hunter). More recently, now in 2020, The Shift by Laura Carreia competed in the Venice Film Festival, as well as the twins Afonso and Bernardo Rapazote with Corte were selected for the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival.

Annually, we invite programmers from the most relevant international film festivals to visit Lisbon (2020 in online format) to see a selection of the most recent national productions. The Lisbon Screenings (an event that existed even before the establishment of Portugal Film in the context of the Association) present not only the films included in Portugal Film’s catalog but also other works (recently or not yet finished) that, due to their relevance, are of interest to promote. The catalogue, organised in a format that bets on continued growth, has the dimension of our ability to treat each film with the commitment and the proximity it deserves - from advice to registration at festivals, sending directly to programmers and critics, curators and distributors and also national and international sales.

In 7 years, the films represented by Portugal Film have more than one hundred prizes and mentions in the most prestigious festivals in the world and more than 2000 selections in 5 continents.

In 2020 the international sales of this agency have been reinforced, with particular emphasis on the acquisitions by the Criterion Collection of two works from Jorge Jácome, by HBO of films by João Botelho, Jorge Cramez and Tiago Guedes and for the commercial distribution in more than 5 countries of The Metamorphosis of Birds by Catarina Vasconcelos.

This is how Portugal Film grows and asserts itself nationally and internationally, promoting, managing and selling Portuguese films, both short and feature films in the world, cementing the development of this cinema market and contributing to the growing notoriety of Portuguese cinema and cinematographic art in general.